Bookshop.org Launches Donation Platform to Celebrate Publication of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

By Allan Spencer | November 4 2021 | General

Bookshop.org, the ethical online marketplace which supports independent bookstores, has announced a ground-breaking partnership with Penguin Random House imprint One World ahead of the publication of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story on November 16.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones and the team at The New York Times Magazine is a dramatic expansion of one of the most significant journalistic events of recent years: the award-winning reframing of American history that places slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. As with the original 1619 Project, the expanded book version provides readers with the definitive account of how racism and Black resistance have shaped the nation.

Independent bookstores across the U.S. have identified local organizations such as schools, libraries, and book banks who will benefit from donated copies of this momentous book. Through Bookshop.org, customers will be able to support local bookstores and communities directly, as well as through We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that distributes books to low-income classrooms, educators, and organizations across the country.

Nikole Hannah-Jones said: “When we first announced the publication date for the book version of The 1619 Project, an organic movement rose up of individuals offering to purchase copies for educators and educational organizations. Inspired by that effort, as well as campaigns across the country to suppress the teaching of the project, we thought it would be amazing to create a larger campaign that would allow more people to give books and get them into the hands of an even larger number of people in need. Our ‘donate a copy’ campaign in partnership with Bookshop.org will connect donors with educators, libraries, and organizations while simultaneously supporting independent bookstores. We are very grateful that readers are excited to donate The 1619 Project to people who otherwise would not have access to a copy.”

Andy Hunter, C.E.O. of Bookshop.org said: “The historic publication of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story will become a fundamental part of reshaping our nation’s past, present, and future. Bookstores play a crucial role in ensuring stories such as these live on within our communities. By purchasing a copy of the book through Bookshop.org, not only are customers able to donate to a participating organization, but they are also able to financially support their local independent bookstore.”

Over 15 percent of the participating independent bookstores are Black-owned and managed, with many playing a significant role in their local communities. This partnership will allow them to continue supporting their communities by making the stories of The 1619 Project widely accessible.

Edwin Lindo and Estell Williams, cofounders of community bookstore Estelita’s Library, will be donating their copies to NorthStar Cycling Club in Seattle, which aims to get melanated people on bicycles to build community and aid BIPOC physical and mental health. Lindo and Williams said: The 1619 Project is one of the most important endeavors of our time. Being able to experience this vast ocean of knowledge is a privilege we don’t deserve, but one we are indebted to for bringing us closer to the devastating truth of the American project.”

Beth Quarles, co-owner of Paper Hearts Bookstore, will be donating to the Little Rock Southwest Magnet High School Library, a newly opened high school in the Mabelvale district. Beth said: “While the goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history, we believe it is changing present and future generations. Getting copies into the hands of those that are, and will be, the leaders of our society is something we are excited to partner in with Bookshop.org.”

To donate a copy of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story and discover more about the independent bookstores supporting the initiative, visit bookshop.org/1619. The initiative runs from November 1 through January 31, 2022.

For more information on The 1619 Project and Nikole Hannah-Jones, visit 1619Books.com.