The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
Clint Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and the author of the poetry collection “Counting Descent,” as well as a forthcoming nonfiction book, “How the Word Is Passed.” Photo illustration by Jon Key. Diagram: Getty Images. Pretend I wrote this at your grave. Pretend the grave is marked.