If you missed The New York Times’ striking 1619 Project, which examines the legacy and impact of slavery in America, you’re in luck: the magazine issue is being adapted into a TV series, multiple feature and documentary films, and more.
2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who created 1619, has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate to develop the work as well as its companion 1619 podcast in different formats — from books to documentaries — in order to be shared with a wider audience.
“From the first moment I read The 1619 Project and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis. I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience,” Winfrey said in a statement.
When the #1619Project came out almost a year ago, I stood in tearful applause for the profound offering that it was giving our culture and nation. Today, I am honored to be a part of @nhannahjones’ vision to bring her transformative work to a global audience. Stay tuned, y’all! https://t.co/zcmVlLeSKV
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) July 8, 2020
The 1619 Project was published in August 2019, 400 years after Africans were first brought to Virginia in order to be sold as slaves. Black scholars, essayists, poets, playwrights, and more contributed to the work, as it chronicles the way slavery over time has helped create the foundations of systemic racism that still endures in every corner of American life today. The issue, which had its own section in the print edition of the New York Times and was produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture, also makes the case to have slavery, its consequences, and the contributions of Black Americans over time be at the forefront in our discussions about American history as a whole.
“The truths [Hannah-Jones] uncovers are painful and disturbing, but we are better for it because her crowning accomplishment in shining a spotlight on the previously untold contributions of Black Americans delivers a powerful message of empowerment and inclusion.” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake and Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs said in a joint statement.
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