Five professors say the 1619 Project should be amended. ‘We disagree,’ says the New York Times.Breaking News
tags: slavery, New York Times, history wars, 1619 Project
Five historians recently wrote to the New York Times Magazine, asking the architects of its comprehensive 1619 Project, which tells the founding narrative of America through the lens of slavery, to issue several corrections. They argued that assertions in the 1619 package about the motivations that sparked the Revolutionary War and President Abraham Lincoln’s views on black equality were misleading.
“We ask that The Times, according to its own high standards of accuracy and truth, issue prominent corrections of all the errors and distortions presented in The 1619 Project,” wrote the five professors, from Princeton University, Texas State University, Brown University and the City University of New York.
In a lengthy response published online over the weekend, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein addressed each concern from the professors but stood firmly behind the reporting and declined to correct it.
“Though we respect the work of the signatories, appreciate that they are motivated by scholarly concern and applaud the efforts they have made in their own writings to illuminate the nation’s past, we disagree with their claim that our project contains significant factual errors and is driven by ideology rather than historical understanding,” Silverstein wrote. “While we welcome criticism, we don’t believe that the request for corrections to The 1619 Project is warranted.”
When the 1619 Project dropped in August, 400 years to the month after the first enslaved Africans landed in the English colonies that became the United States, readers of the New York Times could not get enough. Paper copies of the Times Magazine swiftly sold out and then sold out again.
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