The New York Times dedicated an entire issue of its weekly magazine to examining the history of American slavery, calling it “The 1619 Project,” in observance of the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship to land on the continent. The issue had various essays published acknowledging the various forms in which slavery has been a part of the American culture.
Many would argue that this was a way to open up old wounds and a way to stir up a sensitive topic, which people are better off without. However, accepting something that has been a part of your history is a part of moving forward. Accepting your past is the only way you can make peace with it.
In its stark retelling of the U.S. history, the Times piece put front and centre the idea that “slavery is central to the country’s identity and wealth,” a statement that might make some people uncomfortable but one that “no serious student of American history denies,” says Margaret Burnham, who is the director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University, as well as University Distinguished Professor of Law. “This is American history, and you have to face it to fix it. If you don’t have any interest in fixing it, you don’t have any interest in facing it” she adds.
Racial tension is something that people from all across the world are familiar with. Some people have faced it themselves, some have seen it happening to others, and some might have heard stories of it. Though globalisation has up to a point eradicated racism, there still are people with their prejudices and beliefs against someone who is from a particular race, or someone not from their own race. A diverse nation such as America, which is a land of people from diverse ethnicities, or any nation for that matter, cannot reach its full potential if its people keep pestering on racial discrimination.