Most mornings, I start my day listening to a podcast from the New York Times called The Daily, which makes the fire hose of news a little more manageable for my brain. For several weeks, The Daily gave its Friday morning spot to another Times project, the audio series 1619.
1619 is not a 20-minute coffee-break listen. The subject—the history of the enslavement of Africans and their descendants in America, which began in 1619—is covered in depth and presented with artistry and skill. (The New Yorker calls it “magnificent,” and I agree.) Every episode presents highly significant facts that were never covered in my education, or likely even known by my teachers.
If you’ve just got time for one episode right now, I recommend Episode 2, “The Economy that Slavery Built.”
It’s compelling; I’ve totally blown out my schedule to finish listening to an episode that I’d only intended to start. My thoughts keep returning to it. I’m grateful to Nikole Hannah-Jones, host of the series and creator of the 1619 project.