After viewing the 1619 Project, I can say how utterly disgusted I am with certain aspects of it, but I also learned a lot of new things from it.
The concept of race is a socially constructed idea that varies across different cultures and countries. In some places, such as Ghana, people may not categorize individuals based on race in the same way that it occurs in the United States. Additionally, the idea of racial identity in the United States can be complex and influenced by historical and cultural factors. The experience of individuals who are biracial or multiracial can also be affected by societal attitudes and perceptions towards race.
The legacy of miscegenation and the resulting biracial or multiracial identity can be complex and influenced by societal attitudes towards race. The concept of racial identity has historically been defined by the one-drop rule, which asserts that any person with even a trace of African ancestry is considered black. This legacy continues to impact how individuals of mixed race are perceived and treated in society. Despite progress towards greater acceptance of diverse racial identities, systemic racism and bias can still influence how individuals are perceived and treated based on their racial background.
It is important to acknowledge the horrific and widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of enslaved black women during the era of slavery in the United States. Enslaved women did not have agency or control over their own bodies and were subjected to sexual violence and forced pregnancy by white slaveowners or overseers. This traumatic legacy of sexual violence has had lasting effects on black communities and highlights the systemic oppression and dehumanization endured by enslaved people.
While watching the 1619 project, I was drawn to the term “Negro wench”. This term is an example of how language was used to dehumanize and oppress enslaved black women during the era of slavery in the United States. The use of the term “Negro” was already a derogatory term, but the addition of “wench” further dehumanized and objectified enslaved women, positioning them as subhuman and legitimizing their exploitation and sexual abuse by their white owners. This language reinforced the systemic oppression and dehumanization of enslaved people and helped to maintain the power dynamics of slavery.
I was drawn toward the black lady who was pregnant during the pandemic who had switched doctors, but wasn’t cared for as she should have been. The experience of the pregnant black woman in the 1619 Project highlights the ongoing disparities in healthcare faced by black individuals, particularly black women. Studies have shown that black women are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth and have higher rates of maternal mortality compared to white women. These disparities are due in part to systemic racism and bias within the healthcare system, including disparities in access to care, quality of care, and the treatment of pain and symptoms. The experience of the pregnant black woman in the 1619 Project underscores the urgent need for reform and anti-racist policies within the healthcare system.
The 1619 Project highlights the ongoing legacy of systemic racism and oppression in the United States and the urgent need for continued efforts towards dismantling these systems of oppression. It is important for individuals to recognize their own roles in perpetuating or challenging these systems and actively work towards creating a more equitable and just society. This means acknowledging and addressing biases and stereotypes within oneself and one’s community, advocating for policy changes that support marginalized communities, and supporting and uplifting the voices and leadership of those most affected by systemic oppression. The work of creating a more just society is ongoing and requires ongoing commitment and action from all individuals. How do we except THEM to treat us right if WE aren’t treating us right.