Streaming platform Hulu is helping more households become educated on “The 1619 Project” through an upcoming docuseries on the controversial essay.
“The 1619 Project” was first launched in August 2019 by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones as a long-form initiative in The New York Times Magazine. The essay provides a historical analysis of how slavery in America molded the country’s political, social, and economic institutions and correlates to the current social injustices faced by the Black community, The Atlantic reports. The project, released on the 400-year anniversary of when the first Africans arrived on American soil, sought to place “the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
Success from the initiative spawned a podcast, a new high-school curriculum, and an upcoming book and docuseries. But some scholars criticized the initiative as “cynicism” and released a rebuttal letter to the Times accusing the project of reflecting “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.” Former President Trump even threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that attempted to teach the curriculum.
However, “The 1619 Project” lives on and will soon be available to millions of Hulu subscribers, Variety reports. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams has teamed up with Lionsgate Television, The New York Times, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films to release a docuseries aimed at “acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of Black Americans,” Williams said in a statement.
“‘The 1619 Project’ is an essential reframing of American history. Our most cherished ideals and achievements cannot be understood without acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of Black Americans,” he explained. “And this isn’t just about the past—Black people are still fighting against both the legacy of this racism and its current incarnation. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to work with The New York Times, Lionsgate Television, Harpo Films and Hulu to translate the incredibly important ‘The 1619 Project’ into a documentary series.”
The brains behind “TThe 1619 Project” expressed her joy to see her essay being brought to life. “I could not ask for a more gifted and committed storyteller to entrust ‘The 1619 Project’ to than Roger Ross Williams,” Hannah-Jones said. “I have long admired the impact and authenticity of his filmmaking, and the fact that we’re working with Disney and Hulu aligns with our vision of partnering with the world’s greatest Black storytellers to bring this project to a global audience.”