Historians have criticized the new Hulu series “The 1619 Project” on the basis that it is historically “inaccurate.”
On Jan. 26 Hulu released the first two episodes of “The 1619 Project”, authored by Nikole Hannah-Jones, which “seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
Phil Magness, an economic historian and author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique” outlined an inaccuracy in the documentary.
“This is … almost a fantasy version of history that [NHJ] has settled upon after badly misreading historical evidence, and a lot of it comes back to her attempting to backfill her narrative after she came under criticism for this claim by cherry-picking bits and pieces of the truth and bits and pieces of mythology that she’s gotten from other historians,” Magness said.
The 1619 Project @hulu series is a dumpster fire of historical inaccuracies. It needn't be. But @nhannahjones chose to make it so by digging in on indefensible claims about American history.https://t.co/xeAfvt8kYh
— Phil Magness (@PhilWMagness) January 31, 2023
Magness took issue with the claim in the series that the American Revolution was fought over slavery. “This has been one of the most controversial of claims from ‘The 1619 Project’ basically since its inception,” he said.
He added that Hannah Jones tried to “recast the American Revolution and especially the colonist cause, as being a defense of slavery against the British empire making overtures to abolish the institution.”
Additionally, Gordon Wood, an American Historian and Professor at Brown University, criticized Jones for her inaccurate claims about the American Revolution.
“Hannah-Jones is just plain wrong about her claims about the causes of the American Revolution,” Wood said.
In his latest book, “Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution”, Wood stated:
“In fact, the Revolution created the first antislavery movement in the history of the world. In 1775 the first antislavery convention known to humanity met in Philadelphia at the very time the Second Continental Congress was contemplating a break from Great Britain.”
Furthermore, Magness broke down the series’ portrayal of Lord Dunmore, the colonial governor of Virginia, who awarded the freedom to slaves of “rebellious colonists” if they fought for the British militia.
Magness stated that in the documentary Dunmore becomes an “emancipator.” However, he was, in fact, an enslaver.
Just watched the Hulu 1619 Project's first episode. It leans heavily into the claim that the American Revolution was fought over slavery.
Lord Dunmore becomes an "emancipator" in Nikole Hannah-Jones's account, propped up by Woody Holton.
Not mentioned: Dunmore was an enslaver.
— Phil Magness (@PhilWMagness) January 27, 2023
“Recasting Lord Dunmore as something as an emancipator … is a historical farce,” Magness said.
“He’s really a horrible, brutal figure in British colonial history on the pro-slavery side, so the fact that the 1619 Project is turning him into this emancipationist hero just shows the absolute absurdity and the lack of correction to the basic historic reality that [Hannah-Jones] has in undertaking this project,” he added.
Moreover, Glenn Beck, founder of TheBlaze, critiqued “The 1619 Project” for being a “political agenda.”
“The 1619 Project is a political agenda dressed up as history and gets so many historical facts absolutely WRONG,” Beck said.
The release of the series comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was attacked over his decision to block an Advanced Placement course on African American studies.