Adam Serwer's Atlantic article is a very measured response to the critique of the New York Times 1619 Project. Led by Nicole Hannah Jones (@nhannahjones). The letter initiated by Sean Wilentz and joined by four other leading liberal historians of early American history raises sharp questions about how much the American War of Independence sought to protect slavery rather than advance the Enlightenment values of the Declaration so fundamentally defied by the reality of the Founding slaveholders lives. - gwc
Historians Clash With the 1619 Project - The Atlantic
by Adam Serwer
***Underlying each of the disagreements in the letter is not just a matter of historical fact but a conflict about whether Americans, from the Founders to the present day, are committed to the ideals they claim to revere. And while some of the critiques can be answered with historical fact, others are questions of interpretation grounded in perspective and experience.
In fact, the harshness of the Wilentz letter may obscure the extent to which its authors and the creators of the 1619 Project share a broad historical vision. Both sides agree, as many of the project’s right-wing critics do not, that slavery’s legacy still shapes American life—an argument that is less radical than it may appear at first glance. If you think anti-black racism still shapes American society, then you are in agreement with the thrust of the 1619 Project, though not necessarily with all of its individual arguments.