Trip Jennings, executive director of New Mexico In Depth
History is written by the victors. That adage jangled around in my head this week as I made my way through the New York Times’ 1619 Project. An ambitious heave in its Sunday magazine and special section, the project argues that to understand our nation better we need to fundamentally alter how we view slavery and everything that came after.
Even if critics call it propaganda and a rewriting of American history, the publication of the 1619 Project by one of the nation’s leading newspapers shouldn’t surprise us. How we tell the stories about who we are as a nation, our place in the world and our deepest values – what we know as our nation’s history – has regularly changed. Since our country’s founding, successive generations have revisited what stories from our past to lift up and what stories to downplay based on the present.
Today the United States is more ethnically diverse than it was a few decades ago, and will only become moreso.