When Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which looked at the U.S. role in slavery, came into fruition, Republican-led states went on an anti-Critical Race Theory crusade. Some states have passed laws outlawing any CRT class to be taught in schools and even tried to alter how schools speak about race entirely.
Texas is one of those states who passed their own race discussion limits in June of 2021. They also made the 1836 Project, an alternative to the 1619 Project, which mainly revolves around the Texas Revolution and promotes “patriotic education” about “how Texas became so exceptional.” NBC News notes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott approved a 15-page draft of what will be included in a brochure featuring the approved text given to those seeking a Texas driver’s license.
It is said that the brochure will briefly touch on Texas’ “far from perfect” history with slavery, as well as note the state’s past discriminatory laws against African Americans. The Houston Chronicle says one part of the project that has passed is Jim Crow laws and voting rights deprivations that discriminated against African Americans.
This project is not without its critics, however. For one, people have pointed out that Texas’ independence from Mexico is highlighted, but the emancipation date of enslaved Black and Indigenous people is left out.
Hannah-Jones had tweeted back in 2021, “one of the historical facts that you likely won’t learn in the 1836 Project, 1776 Project or any other 1619 Project copycats is that in 1836, Congress adopted a “gag” rule against any conversation abt the abolition of slavery being considered.”
University scholars Leah LaGrone and Michael Phillips wrote in an opinion piece that the 1836 Project leaves out the struggles of women, Tejanos, and “gay, bisexual and trans-Texans.”
“The pamphlet not only erases atrocities, it also scrubs the history of dissenting political movements such as the left-wing Populists of the late nineteenth century,” LaGrone and Phillips wrote.