It’s no secret that over the years, African-Americans have been no strangers to the way of indifference and hurt. The privilege that other ethnicities are awarded were hidden away from Black people for a long time, which in turn has caused a vicious cycle of pain, loss, grief and so many other things. The 1619 Project, spearheaded by Nikole Hannah-Jones, carved a path for the discussion that needs to be had; the impact that African American discrimination has brought into our present day lives, and what we need to do to enact change.

Women, especially black women, are not treated the correct way in medical care. It doesn’t matter if they are pregnant or anything else, we will always be put last. This deeply saddening fact makes me wish this was not the way our world worked. Regardless of the color of your skin, every person that steps into any medical facility should be treated with the utmost respect, and nothing less. Because of the 1619 Project, I have also found that miscegenation is a word to be defined as  “sexual relationships or reproduction between people of different ethnic groups, especially when one of them is white.” After watching the 1619 project, I have found that this is a derogatory word. I find it heartbreaking the lengths that people will go to in order to find ways to disrespect my people. Black people will always be seen and treated as threats no matter what or where. Something has to change. 

Women have been protecting themselves forever. Of course, there have been developments and many different things that we have done for ourselves to make our lives better, but it will never be enough. Back during the times of slavery, the white masters would imprison, rape and even impregnate their female slaves. They thought of them as nothing more than bags of flesh for their own pleasure and took it upon themselves to try and show it. In order to get this torture, woman learned how to braid escape routes into their heads so they could be free. They would also hide food for the journey into their heads, which just goes to show how strong women can be. Nowadays, women are fighting back against the domination of their bodies by choosing black healthcare professionals and making sure they are cared for in medical centers. Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks on the true purpose of the 1619 Project and the lasting impact that racial discrimination has had on America.

Ideas of power are something that are still very active in America. I believe that a good way to disrupt that would be to do the main thing that the 1619 project did, and talk. Speak on and call out all of the ignorance and discrimination that we have allowed to go on for far too long. All of the speakers in this series were very open and had a lot to say, which brought awareness to the issues that are still going on. Having uncomfortable conversations is the way to break up the comfortability that America has been sitting in. If I’m being honest, no one is doing anything in my community. I wish I had someone coming around door to door in my neighborhood asking the hard but important questions, but sadly, no one is willing to step up to the plate. I know the people in my community would have a lot to say. I’m not really sure what groups I could join in order to help make a difference, but I do know I would be interested in maybe helping with a writing piece to help spread the word.

Many people do not want to accept the reality that there are multiple races or even people that are biracial. There are still many people in America who cannot come to terms with the fact that we have evolved past only dating within your race. Because of this, people will do dumb and irrational things. There are verbal and physical assaults that attack the african american people of America all the time by others. “Half-breed” is a phrase that I feel I hear a lot. Even though I myself am not mixed race, I am still very familiar with this kind of derogatory speech. It has become so normalized, that even kids in school have turned this topic into one big joke to say to their friends. Just this past February, I saw non-stop posts about mixed race people only being able to celebrate half of Black History Month because of their only “half” connection to African Americans. We have normalized the dehumanization of African Americans so much that we allow our children to make jokes that carry on the hatred for our people and hide it behind the “kids will be kids” narrative. 

Fear has been the excuse of police officers against Black men for as long as I can remember. Saying that they saw a hairbrush in the hands of a black man and thought it was a weapon, or he was wearing all black so he looked like a criminal, etc. There are countless good men who have lost their lives simply because a white man with a gun decided it was his time to go. They use the excuse of fearing for their lives as a way to get away with murder without repercussions, and it works every time, even though the kills are done with dramatic overkill. 

Mulatto – a person of mixed white and Black ancestry, especially a person with one white and one Black parent, i knew what this word meant but I didn’t know it was considered offensive. I find it insane the lengths that people will go to in order to get a rise out of black people. There is no need for the excessive cruelty that is handed out to us, and yet just because we look a certain way, people will do anything to tear us down. 

The 1619 project almost brought me to tears if I’m being honest. It was heartbreaking to see and hear the things that I did while watching the series, and I never expected to be impacted in that way. I knew that things of that nature were happening, but I think the thing that really got me was hearing testimonies from the families of the victims. One story that really hit home for me was the one where the man was a security guard and he was shot and killed by the cops even though multiple people at the event he was being security for said he was ok. Hearing his wife talk about their kid and how he had plans of being a police officer broke my heart. There is nothing more shockingly ironic than his situation. He wanted to be an officer, someone that helped keep criminals off the streets so his daughter could have a safer place to live, but instead was killed by the very people he wanted to become. All because he was wearing black. He was a threat because of his choice of shirt that day, and there are more of us that have been killed for less. 

The authors and speakers are very selective in the words that they use and what they reference. Multiple times throughout the series, I heard references to slavery and, to me, I got the impression that they were trying to tell the audience how slavery was the foundation for America, and the ways we still sit on top of that foundation today. Something else I noticed is that, when they would interview families and victims or even victims themselves, they would always try and make the question center something of a feeling unless they were speaking directly about the injustice they were being interviewed about. As mentioned above, a security guard who wanted to be a police officer was killed for the color shirt he was wearing, and when his wife was interviewed, she was asked to explain why he wanted to be an officer, how involved he was with his child and things of that nature. They made sure to ask the right questions and talk about things they knew were sure to tug on the heart strings of the audience. Some people may find this tactic to be manipulative, but I find it clever. If you want to make people listen to you and hear your message, give them something to listen to that they will care about. 

image_printPrint this page.


0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
March 28, 2023 12:11 am

Daeja, I love this perspective you have brought forth. I too get very frustrated when I see another innocent African American man shot dead for no good reason. I find the story you shared of Mulatto to be extra heartbreaking, and I could tell you felt the same way. Nobody deserves what some of these people go through, yet African Americans face it every day. Here is another video about the 1619 project that I think you should see.

March 24, 2023 6:46 pm

I completely agree with you. I like how much you dive into the effects watching it had on you personally. When you said “The 1619 project almost brought me to tears if I’m being honest. It was heartbreaking.” I understood how much it meant to you. Here is an article about the series that you might enjoy reading

March 23, 2023 7:41 pm

I like how you mentioned women and the way color women are not being treated right

March 23, 2023 7:33 pm

I like how you spoke on women especially color women and how they aren’t being  treated the correct way in medical care.

March 23, 2023 7:23 pm

I  liked how the images you used spoke on how women of color in particular and the black people in general are in the chains with their arms up. Your post was very good descriptive and the choice of words were powerful. Great Work!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Shanelle
March 23, 2023 6:57 pm

I strongly agree with you , why did you choose these photos specifically?

March 23, 2023 2:27 am

I 100% agree with you, it is necessary to have these discussions in order to educate and bring attention to issues that have been ignored and pushed aside for centuries. I seen that you said to create change you would also do something similar to the 1619 Project and talk, how would you go about this? For example, a podcast, organization, etc.

March 23, 2023 1:25 am

I like the pictures you added. They relate and add depth to the writing.

March 23, 2023 12:15 am

What’s interesting to me is how you mentioned the word Mulatto. I never knew what that word meant but it kinda of makes sense to me now. I automatically thought of the celebrity “Mulatto” who is mixed and now I know why she calls herself that. I really enjoyed your pictures. they stood out to me and overall you did a great job.

March 22, 2023 11:19 pm

I like how you spoke on how women of color in particular have been treated in society. I also really like your pictures

March 22, 2023 10:34 pm

I think the picture of the black people in chains was a great choice and relates to your writing. I was hoping to add a picture like that but

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Email Call or Text 917-612-3006

Missions on Youth Voices
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account