Monday, January 17, 2011

About The 1619 Project

Within a space of 12 years, the colony of Virginia under the British, had moved from its founding, through its struggle of the starving time, had developed some level of peace with the Native Americans, and now had a cash crop of tobacco.  More specifically, in the year 1619, three distinct events had occurred; the House of Burgess had been established in Jamestown, VA, white woman had come over, and "twenty-some odd Negroes" were traded to the colonist of Jamestown from the hands of the Dutch.  While these Negroes, were slaves in the hands of the Dutch, the English had no laws in Virginia that would have subjected these people to slavery.  These people, like other immigrating Anglo-Saxons had become indentured servants.  These Africans (more specifically, Angolians and Christian) were able to carve out a space for their existance within the English colony of Virginia.  However, between 1650-1750; economic, social, and political events came to bear upon the decendants of these "twenty-some odd Negroes" and the new arriving West Africans, of whom now came into Virginia bound in chains, and some native born African Americans also faced enslavement or offering themselves up into slavery.

Since 1619, from the James River in Virginia and beyond, West Africans (who had become African Americans), have pushed and pulled within the spaces in which they existed.  As framed within the American documents (the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution) that represents Freedom, Justice, and Equality (just to name a few enduring American values), African Americans have found ways for both personal and collective attainment of the aforementioned.  They found freedom by running awaying from the plantation, suing for freedom in court, leading slave rebellions, mailing themselves away into freedom, writing, leading protest marches to dancing and singing.

The idea of this project is to "push and pull."  This "push and pull" will happen within this space through the sharing of ideas that one may agree or disagree with BUT the goal is find Freedom, Justice, and Equality rather it be personal or collective as it pertains to the African American community.

Topics can be developed within three spaces: 
1.  Who are Afrcan Americans?
2.  What are African Americans?
3.  Who are African Americans becoming as they move toward the future?

Please follow this hard and fast rule:  all posts are to be respectful and free of discriminatory language that one will find offensive and objectionable.  Remember, these posts represent you.  Always call upon your better angels.


DeAndre said...

"...We must continue to resist the system of segregation...We must work constructively to improve the standards themselves...This is a great hour for the Negro. The challenge is here..."- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Intisar said...

Intisar Seraaj
Hampton University

This will be a very positive and interesting addition to Twitter. This will not only connect the the black community on an intellectual level, but it will spread positivity throughout the black community by giving examples of what opportunities HBCU's have in store for African Americans.
It will be a beautiful sight to see the black community connecting through shared experiences, which will be passed on to the African American youth.

Simone said...

Simone Hyater-Adams

The question of who "African Americans" are is something I've been looking to answer for my entire life. Because I identify with this group, and have never had a class on specifically "African American History" I felt it was important to take this class now that it is offered. Naturally, I have been educated about the basics, slavery and civil rights, but I have never gotten the details and the roots. I know that originally, I am from Africa, but have no clue of where, or what tribe, or what area, and not knowing this makes me feel a little incomplete. I know that I have other races mixed in me, but I don't know what ones, and why. Learning about African American history seems to be my way to define, "Who" African Americans are.

One thing that seems apparent to me is that African Americans are discriminated against, not only by whites, but by many races, even Africans. I have met immigrant Africans who believe they are better than African Americans because they were not enslaved and brought to America, and that their blood is purely African. It seems as though slavery created us; like African American is a completely separate race of its own. Its hard to think that the birth of my roots is from this devastating experience, but that is what I see. I feel like our race is a young race, and We have been working hard to fight the discrimination at every angle. However, it is comforting to see that progress is being made.

Shanasia said...

ShaNasia Freeman
Hampton University

Referring to the questions stated above, an African American is people of African decent who obtains American citizenship. For example slaves, people who were taken from their homeland and brought here to America are African America, or people like myself who have African ancestors but are here in America are African Americans. I am an African American! Black people define African Americans. As African Americans move forward into the future, they are becoming innovated, strong, intellectual, and a powerful race. African Americans are becoming America. For instance more African Americans are rising up to be leaders in today’s society, whether it be teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers or even the President of the United States. Our past and what we’ve endured overtime has molded us African Americans into who we are today. Being oppressed and progressing over the years has lead us to become a dominant race in American, as African Americans.

brittneypulley_598 said...

Brittney Pulley
Hampton University

An African American is a person who's ancestry links back to Africa. The blood of an African America is of african descent. African Americans are also considered to be "black" or "colored". African Americans include Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. African American are very strong people who at one point were enslaved physically. In this present day as African Americans we are not physically enslaved, but mentally enslaved. Some of choose to be free, and others do not, but are trying to reach a point of freedom in society metaphysically. African Americans are becoming leaders in the world especially because the president of the United States is of African decent. African Americans are growing into great entreprenuers, cooks, singers, actors, actresses, and scientists. Africna Americans have come a long way, and I look forward to what us as a people continue to offer in the near future.

patrice said...

Patrice Francis
Hampton University

Who are African-Americans? This question already alludes to the fact that African-Americans are more than just a skin color. To me, being an African-American means bearing two identities. One of them is my place as an American citizen, the other an unknown connection to a land far away that I may never visit. Our ancestors were not Americans, but we cannot be considered Africans. This duality plays a large part in what African-Americans are now, and who we will become. I think that right now, African-Americans are in limbo. Positive influences in the black community and the media are increasing, but at the same time we are struggling with the impact that negative media is having on the youth. Its hard to say which will win out in the end, but with Barack Obama headlining the positive influences, we just might have a chance.

Atiya Jones said...

I think the HBCU twitter quilt is a great idea and would definitely be an exceptional tool to unite African-Americans across the country who have experienced that precious HBCU education. It will give the African-Americans pride in uplifting their education, knowing they learne about the world around them but also their heriatge and history. The HBCU is a spectacukar idea that be very beneficial to the Black race and community.

Deandra said...

DeAndra Smith
Hampton University
An African American is the best of both worlds,a person of two differnt places, with many backgrounds. An African American is someone who cannot be defined in a few words. African Americans are emerging into somthing great. They are now becoming finally equal in this world. They are becoming leaders and are being looked at as an actual person and not just a black person. African Americans are now noticed.

Intisar said...

Intisar Seraaj
Hampton University

African Americans are the people who have intelligence, innovation and skill in their blood. African Americans are individuals who have risen to great intellectual, socioeconomic and political heights even after their global oppression.

African Americans are the offspring and the individuals that make up the future generations of West African slaves. African Americans are those who have been discriminated against because of their beautiful and rich pigmentation; however, overcoming this adversity and becoming stronger.

As we move toward the future, African Americans are becoming the leaders of the nation. They are becoming more successful, educated and socioeconomically and politically free.

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