Our Democracy’s Founding Ideals Were False When They Were Written. Black Americans Have Fought to Make Them True.
As part of the New York Times Magazine‘s 1619 package commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in America, Nikole Hannah Jones writes about the crucial influence of black Americans — through resistance, and a never ending fight for equal rights for all — on democracy in this country. “More than any other group in this country’s history, we have served, generation after generation, in an overlooked but vital role: It is we who have been the perfecters of this democracy.”
With essays, poems, timelines, and photography, the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project commemorates the 400th anniversary of American slavery, retelling the story of America’s origins by “placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center.”
Gardendale, Alabama’s attempt to secede from its school district shows that despite the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, there are still white communities organizing to keep their schools segregated.
“Regardless of how you feel about Trump, on this one thing he is right: The Democratic Party has taken black Americans for granted. “
A deep dive into our nation’s entrenched problem with school segregation. Hannah-Jones explains how she and her husband decided to send their daughter to a local public school filled with mostly black and Latino students from disadvantaged backgrounds. That school, P.S. 307, has emerged as an example of the clash occurring over integration.
“My friends and I locked eyes in stunned silence. Between the four adults, we hold six degrees. Three of us are journalists. And not one of us had thought to call the police. We had not even considered it.
We also are all black. And without realizing it, in that moment, each of us had made a set of calculations, an instantaneous weighing of the pros and cons.”