Headline RoundupFebruary 3rd, 2023

Hulu's 1619 Project Series Rekindles Debate on Slavery, American Revolution

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Hulu is airing a documentary series adapted from ‘The 1619 Project,’ a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times (Lean Left Bias) multimedia project that sparked controversy for claiming a motivation behind the American Revolution was colonists’ desire to preserve slavery in America.

Key Quote: In the opening essay for the project, project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones writes, “we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue.”

Fact? Hannah-Jones defended the claim in an interview with Forbes, stating, “we've all been indoctrinated into these myths about America and we've all been told a history that's not true.” A piece in CNN Opinion stated, “America remains collectively trapped in historical amber – enmeshed in cruel myths and violent falsehoods that perpetuate racial division, economic inequality, segregation and violence.”

Fiction? The Daily Caller (Right Bias) quoted American historian Gordon Wood calling the claim “just plain wrong,” and stating that the revolution “created the first antislavery movement in the history of the world.” James Bovard pointed to the northern colonies' lack of economic reliance on slavery to determine they “would not have risked their lives for its preservation.” In 2020, Politico (Lean Left Bias) published a piece by historian Leslie M. Harris, who was enlisted by the Times to fact-check the project and “vigorously disputed” Hannah-Jones's claim.

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