No Happy Nonsense

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

Created by: Nikole Hannah-Jones
Published: 2021
Genre: Essays/Poetry
Finished Reading: January 29th, 2022

I had never really understood or been exposed to the vast, total system of racism that has tried to keep black people in America down for the past 400 years. It was always sort of gone over in school as "yes this very bad thing that happened, but then MLK peacefully protested and it's all better now." Nice, short, simple.

But thankfully this book exists, to show just how fucking awful America has been and continues to be to black people, and despite that, how resilient black people have been the entire time. Each time I'd get through a chapter and think to myself, "man, that is some fucking awful shit, how can it get worse?" seemingly the next chapter would outline how in fact, it did get worse.

I'm glad this book exists and I'm glad I read it. It's offered me the ability to reflect and change my view of "America" and what being an "American" really is, good and bad. It's also just such a concise and well-crafted through-line of 400 years of history, it's just such a massive achievement.