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Tuesday April 19 | 6 – 7:15 pm | In-person at Flyleaf Books OR via Zoom

“If we are truly a great nation, the truth cannot destroy us.” ― Nikole Hannah-Jones

For almost two years, The 1619 Project has both been lauded as a critical and revealing new origin story for the United States – while also being attacked as “anti-American,” “toxic propaganda,” and even “ideological poison.” The initial publication, launched in August of 2019, garnered the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ flagship essay in the collection. At the same time, state and local law makers nationwide and throughout North Carolina have raced to enact laws and policies prohibiting its teaching, with such efforts expanding to ban so-called “Critical Race Theory,” discussion of “divisive concepts,” and even the teaching of any history that may make students feel “uncomfortable.”

All of this begs to question, how much of the public has actually READ the actual material before forming an opinion? What, exactly, is causing this fervor of education legislation and Orwellian-like book banning in the year 2022? What is it about this book’s re-framing of American history that strikes such a nerve? There is one way to find out – read it for yourself and join us for a community discussion of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story is an expansion of The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning issue that sought to re-frame our country’s history, placing slavery and the contributions of Black America as a more central part of the American story. Through 18 essays and 36 poems and works of fiction, the book explores our past and present, addressing inequalities that exist today and illuminating moments of struggle and resistance.

Our panel will address the history presented, the debate in K-12 education concerning the material, as well as what the divisive rhetoric surrounding the Project tells us about how Americans experience, discuss, and process the history of racism in America. Panelists will include:


Limited in-person seating (for up to 50) is available at Flyleaf Books (752 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514). While registration is not required, please help us prepare by filling out this form if you intend to join us in person. Please include any questions you would like to see the panel address.

Registration for virtual participation is here. This form also includes space for posing questions for the panel, and virtual participants can also submit questions via the Q & A feature during the live-streamed event.


Carolina K-12 believes that it is essential that teachers learn, openly discuss and responsibly teach about our nation’s shared “hard history” to ensure students understand the implications of our past, their direct connections to our present, and are empowered to address the challenges of the future. To support North Carolina’s dedicated K-12 scholars seeking to teach a balanced, comprehensive and complex history education, Carolina K-12 launched the “Teaching Hard History” initiative in 2018. These events encourage participants to critically examine and reconsider aspects of our past and present in a way that focuses on hope, resistance, Black & indigenous agency, resilience, empowerment, and reconciliation. Learn more about the initiative here. View past virtual program recordings here


Flyleaf is happy to offer a 20% discount on The 1619 Project for attendees. Just mention (in the order comments online or when purchasing in person) that you’re participating in this community read event, and Flyleaf will adjust the charge before processing your order. (The total cost for one book is $32.68, which includes the 20% discount for participants, plus tax.) Click here to order your copy and support your local bookstore!

This community read and conversation is hosted by Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, Carolina Public Humanities and Flyleaf Books. Promotional support provided by Young Americans Protest (YAP!) & The Campaign for Racial Equity In Our Schools.