Just a few years ago, Nikole Hannah-Jones and writers from The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine launched the long-form journalism endeavor known as The 1619 Project. They sought to look into how the Black experience in this country in many ways has shaped American history, and they started when the first Africans were brought to colonial Virginia in 1619. The team looked at over 400 years of history, and the result was critically-acclaimed work with Hannah-Jones receiving a Pulitzer Prize.
Now in The 1619 Project docuseries, viewers get to see the highs and lows found with this historic undertaking and are left to think about the true impact of past actions on modern society.
Here’s everything we know about The 1619 Project series.
The 1619 Project release date
The 1619 Project premiered with the first two episodes on Thursday, January 26 on Hulu in the US. The remaining four episodes release two at a time on the subsequent Thursdays.
The docuseries is expected to make its way to Disney Plus in the UK, but to date we don’t have official UK release information. We’ll pass along an update as that becomes available to us.
By the way, this is the latest Hulu documentary to shine a light on Black culture. Aftershock and The Hair Tales recently aired and placed a spotlight on Black womens' pregnancies and Black hair respectively.
The 1619 Project episode guide
Below you'll find an episode guide for the series.
Episode 1: "Democracy"
"Told through Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones’ personal story, historical events and the modern fights for voting rights, ‘Democracy’ explores Black America’s centuries-long fight to democratize America and hold it to its founding ideals. "
Episode 2: "Race"
"’Race’ examines the construct of race as a political invention created to justify the economic exploitation of African people during slavery and promote white supremacy, while tracing the impact that has had on Black women’s bodies and reproductive lives."
Episode 3: "Music"
"From Motown’s wide popularity to funk’s rebellious independence to today’s genre-breaking musicians, ‘Music’ celebrates the “uncapturable spirit” of Black music."
Episode 4: "Capitalism"
"Nikole Hannah-Jones’ family and current labor battles are the lens for ‘Capitalism’, which explores how slavery formed the bedrock of American capitalism "
The 1619 Project premise
Here is the official synopsis of The 1619 Project:
"Hulu’s upcoming six-part limited docu-series The 1619 Project, is an expansion of The 1619 Project created by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine.
"In keeping with the original project, the series seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. The episodes — 'Democracy,' 'Race,' 'Music,' 'Capitalism,' 'Fear' and 'Justice' — are adapted from essays from The New York Times No. 1 bestselling The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story and examine how the legacy of slavery shapes different aspects of contemporary American life.
"The series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, is a Lionsgate Production in association with One Story Up Productions, Harpo Films and The New York Times."
The 1619 Project trailer
Hulu released a subsequent video on January 26 of what viewers can expect in the series. Check it out.
Check out the official trailer for the highly-anticipated documentary.
The 1619 Project directors
When it comes to the docuseries, there isn’t one director for all the episodes. In fact, episodes 1 and 6 are directed by Roger Ross-Williams, episode 2 is directed by Shoshana Guy and Naimah Jabali-Nash, episode 3 is directed by Christine Turner, episode 4 is directed by Kamilah Forbes and episode 5 is directed by Phil Bertelsen.
Ross-Williams is an Oscar-winning director who won the award for Music by Prudence, and he’s previously directed The Apollo and God Loves Uganda. For Guy, she previously directed the docuseries 4Real and for Jabali-Nash, this is her major directing endeavor. Turner has previously been behind the camera for Homegoings, Forbes directed Between the World and Me and Bertelsen used his talent to bring forth the Netflix documentary Who Killed Malcolm X?
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Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities. When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The Crown, WandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of Harlem. And a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.
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