The New York Times’ 1619 Project is a must-read for everyone working on poverty issues. It begins this way: “In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”
Those who use Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World to address poverty in their communities are familiar with putting poverty in a context that makes it possible to address poverty in a comprehensive way. Context is crucial in breaking down inaccurate mental models of poverty and replacing judgments with understanding.
The 1619 Project offers a global context that will assist in the fight against poverty and racism. I also recommend Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert. It is the story of slavery, racism, and capitalism.
This post was written by Philip DeVol