Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed.
“1619,” a New York Times audio series, examines the long shadow of that fateful moment. Today, instead of our usual show, we present Episode 1: “The Fight for a True Democracy.”
Host: Nikole Hannah-Jones, who writes for The New York Times Magazine. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.
This episode includes scenes of graphic violence.
“Without the idealistic, strenuous and patriotic efforts of black Americans, our democracy today would most likely look very different — it might not be a democracy at all,” Nikole Hannah-Jones writes.
The “1619” audio series is part of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. Read more from the project here.
Imperial temptations and humanitarian nightmares force the United States of the late 19th Century to confront the contradictions between its revolutionary self-image and its expanding national interests.
Deep themes run through this show, with allegations of Japanese war crimes and atrocities in China at the start leading to eerily familiar, almost modern questions over how the world should respond. And then Dec 7, 1941 arrives...