Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Blog post #2 Nikole Hannah- Jones

Award winning author Nikole Hannah- Jones makes a remarkable impression of the topic of Slavery; Translating the 1619 project. With the lenses of an African American.Jones mentions the genesis of slavery. Jones states” In August 1619, just 12 years after the English settled Jamestown, VA … The Jameson colonists bought 20 to 30 enslaved Africans from English pirates… Those men and women who came ashore on that August day were the beginning of American Slavery.” Thus furthering, The evolution of International slave trade in The Americas. As Jones voices for the slaves; It is also of interest to know that the African Americans “Grew and picked the cotton…was the nation’s most valuable commodity accounting for half of all American exports and 66 percent of the world’s supply”. Moreover, Jones Informs the reader that America’s greatest profitable trade was manufactured by slaves. 


Further in the text, Jones touches on the topic of ‘The history of the world’s greatest democracy’ claiming “The United States is nation founded on both an ideal and a lie” she explains this theory by a vivid demand amongst the constitution that “All men are created equal””endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights”. However, Jones mentions how independence from the English wasn’t applied to the thousands of Black Americans of the midst. Which voiced aggression towards to constitution being written vaguely during the time of slavery. 


In cognitive, Jones gives the reader an illustration of impacts for Slavery in the Americas during the time of American Revolution and prelude of independence for the 13 colonies. To further the discussion about African American slaves in American democracy. Jones mentions “The Constitution protected the “property” of those who enslaved black people” which is reflecting on the fact that Slaves were viewed as property therefore, It gave black slaves absolutely no right to ‘Life,Liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.  All in all, despite the amount of reinforcement of American independence. None of these constitutional rights applied to Black people solely because the founding father were Slave owners themselves. Therefore, only a commendation for white men.

“the endemic racism that we still cannot purge from this nation to this day.”

One thought on “Blog post #2 Nikole Hannah- Jones”

  1. This reads a little disjointedly—ask yourself, could a reader who had never heard of Hannah-Jones or The 1619 Project read your post and understand what it was about? What was the intervention, or provocation, she is trying to make by suggesting we consider 1619 as the nation’s true “founding”? What are her specific arguments about the American Revolution or the significance of slave-grown cotton in the early nation?

    Factually, you make some serious errors too. The phrase “all men are created equal” is in the Declaration, not the Constitution. Not all of the Founders were slave owners, and in fact it is unclear—and was hotly debated for the entire period we’ve been covering—whether the Constitution protected property in enslaved people or whether the rights in the Bill of Rights applied to free Blacks or other non-whites.

    Grammatically and stylistically, this is also a mess. Incomplete sentences, fragments, problems with capitalization, and confusing/unclear word choices abound. Why is there a fragment of a quotation in a separate paragraph at the end of your post, without any context or explanation? I would be happy to go over these and other issues with writing during the Office Hour.

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