The 1619 Project Exhibit - By Deborah Omomehin
san marcos Texas State University

Exhibit – The 1619 Project

By Deborah Omomehin

On Aug. 20, 1619, about four hundred years ago, a ship arrived with 20-30 enslaved Africans at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia. 1619 is not a year that Americans see has an essential part of American history. To mark the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery, The New York Times Magazine debuted The 1619 Project on Aug. 18, 2019, to reevaluate America’s true history of slavery and analyze how slavery continues to define and shape life in the United States.

I first came in contact with The New York Times’ 1619 Project essay for the first time this semester during Lunch and Learn – 1619 Project and Black History in American Panel at Texas State Diversity Week with my Multimedia Journalism Class (MC 4323). I had heard about the project but just never took the time to look and think about it. Attending the panel made to look into the project more and take the time to read and learn the real truth about slavery’s effect on America. I was able to get a free personal copy by filling out a survey at the end of the panel.

A tweet I sent out during the panel.

The 1619 Project Exhibit is an Official Common Experience Exhibit that occurs on Alkek Library’s third-floor. It displays materials, a newspaper, books that relates to The New York Times‘ 1619 Project essay by Nikole Hannah Jones. The 1619 Project also includes many more essays and creative works from Bryan Stevenson, Djeneba Aduayom, Jamelle Bouie, Wesley Morris, Trymaine Lee, Linda Villarosa, Barry Jenkins, Tyehimba Jess and many more. The project is featured in the exhibit as well.

A book from , African American Studies minor (ASST) associate professor, Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, titled Integrating the 40 Acres: The Fifty-year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas is featured. The Traces and Memories of Slavery In the Atlantic World is featured as well where the associate professor of History, Dr. Ronald Angelo Johnson, authored the chapter Enslaved by History: Slavery’s Enduring Influence on the Memory of Pierre Toussaint. More materials include Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment by Angela J. Davis, American Prison by Shane Bauer , Between the World and Me by  Ta-Nehisi Coates , The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery by Linda Garland Page and Eliot Wigginton , The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea by Christopher J. Lebron, etc. 

An event led to the creation of this exhibit today, which is the TXST Sit In lead by Texas State students activists and organizations on April 13, 2018. It was done to unite and demand change from the administration. The adding of an African American Studies minor to Texas State University Catalog was one of the things students wanted. Texas State launched the minor this fall with Dr. Dwonna Goldstone associate professor of history and as the coordinator. So the minor was created, which also led to this exhibit to be made. The exhibition is a resource for African American Studies minor students.

The exhibit is open and free to the Texas State students, faculty, staff and the public from Monday till Sunday from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m. The materials and books are allowed to be rented out of the library. To gain more knowledge, information and learn even more on The 1619 Project, listen to Introducing ‘1619’, a New York Times Audio Series.

Infographic by Deborah Omomehin

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