The Rewind

The Rewind Recommends: 1619 Is One Of The Podcasts Of The Year

The Rewind Recommends: 1619 Is One Of The Podcasts Of The Year

This year marked 400 years since the first ship of African slaves landed in America.

1619 was originally meant to be a one-off special issue of The New York Times, released in August, to examine the legacy of slavery in the US but such was the depth of research and interest it grew to become an expanded project across their newspaper and website.

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.

Articles, essays, poems and more have been published, exploring different aspects of the 250 years of slavery in the US and its remnants but perhaps 1619's most engrossing medium has been its podcast.

The six-part podcast of the same title is hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the reporter behind the whole project and it re-examines American history through the strands of slavery and the black culture which grew across the generations.

Each episode tells a different story, ranging from the true history of slavery through to its eventual abolishment to the story of black music and how it has influenced so much of what we still listen to today.


As an outsider on this side of the Atlantic, 1619 is an eye-opener. Its detailed accounts are harrowing and important but there is also plenty of positivity, with the "The Birth of American Music" episode praticularly enjoyable in how it breaks down the legacy of black music.

Across the series it shows how this isn't just the story of slave history in America this is the history of America. You can listen to the podcast on Spotify below or by searching 1619 on all good podcast apps.

See Also: My 5 Favourite Movies Of The Decade - Maurice's Picks


Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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