THE 1619 PROJECT & THE JEWISH ANGLE
The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. The 1619 Project is evolving to become an ideological anchor of the current anti-racist struggle.
The project lays out a conceptual framework for a kind of ‘Black exceptionalism,’ which posits the uniqueness of the American Black experience stemming from the exceptional suffering of Blacks and from the foundational role Blacks have played in making the country what it is today. Its underlying ideas are significant for Jews in part because they shift the broader progressive conversation from rooting in an intersectional logic, which emphasizes universalistic solidarity and not individual groups’ struggle, to one with a more laser-like focus on the anti-Black racism struggle.
The following is an initial mapping of the 1619 Project and its influence ecosystem, which was written prior to the George Floyd’s protest (erupted on May 2020) and is being published now, to serve as a foundation for Reut’s effort titled the ‘Grand Pivot of the Pro-Israel Network Project,’ which mainly focus on navigating the rise of identity politics in the U.S. and mapping related implications for Jewish and pro-Israel community within the progressive movement, in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the social unrest in the U.S. For this effort, the Reut Group received a grant from the Genesis Prize Foundation as part of “Speak Out for Israel,” a global initiative in honor of 2019 Laureate Robert Kraft to combat anti-Semitism and efforts to delegitimize Israel, both of which are on the rise again in confluence with the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Point of View