The 1619 Curriculum


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Nikole Hannah-Jones, the founder of the 1619 Project claims Blacks should be placed at the center of the story about America because their contributions to America were so massive. The author claims blacks are responsible for America’s “economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system, diet, popular music, its legal system.” The author believes “That black Americans, as much as those men cast in alabaster in the nation’s capital, are this nation’s true ‘‘founding fathers.’’(1)

Nikole Hannah-Jones is clueless and is spouting propaganda. Slaves were responsible for the large agricultural production in the south - but this is not on her list. The FACTS are the only thing on this list blacks can take partial credit for is popular music.


The U.S. economy was NOT built on the backs of blacks, whether slave or free. Nationally, blacks were 18.1% of the population in 1830 and 12.7% in 1870 - about the same as today. Obviously, if blacks are around 13% of the population they are only going to contribute 13% to the economy.(2)

Most blacks lived in the south prior to the Civil War and for decades after the War. The South was primarily agricultural. In 1860, the South had only one-ninth the industrial capacity of the North. The North manufactured 97% of the country's firearms, 96% of its railroad locomotives and 93% of its pig iron.(3)                                                          

The industrial North was primarily white. So white workers were overwhelmingly responsible for the industrial and economic growth of the U.S. - both before and after the Civil War. (2) 


About 30% of whites owned slaves in the South prior to the Civil War. This means 70% of southern whites  did the manual labor on their farms or businesses.

Slavery really wasn’t ‘free’ labor. Although slaves obviously didn’t receive wages, the cost of maintaining a slave was considerable. Food, housing and medical care was all provided for. An analysis shows that because of cradle-to-grave support for slaves, “slave owners expropriated far less than generally presumed, and over the course of a lifetime a slave field hand received approximately ninety percent of the income they produced.”(4)

Slavery was minimal in the North by 1830.


America’s “electoral system” was invented by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

America’s “legal system” originated with the Constitution of the U.S. in 1787 and replaced most of British common law which was the law in the colonies.

4. Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974) by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman. p 5,6

July 2022