NOW AVAILABLE: Books from The 1619 Project

By Allan Spencer | November 16 2021 | Education & Professional LearningEnglish Language ArtsSocial StudiesHistoryHigh SchoolMiddle School

The 1619 Project is The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning reframing of American history that placed slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. The project, which was initially launched in August of 2019, offered a revealing new origin story for the United States, one that helped explain not only the persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today, but also the roots of so much of what makes the country unique.

Penguin Random House is pleased to announce the publication of two books from the 1619 Project.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story substantially expands on the work of the New York Times Magazine’s “1619 Project” issue, weaving together 18 essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with 36 poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance.

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, a lyrical picture book in verse, provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, Newbery honor–winning author Renée Watson, and acclaimed artist Nikkolas Smith.


Penguin Random House has developed free online curricular materials for the books. Click here to access the following:


Penguin Random House, in partnership with The Pulitzer Center, launched the 1619 Project Education Pilot Program, an initiative through which over 30 educators from around the country were provided with early copies of both books to use in their classrooms this fall. Participants were selected from Penguin Random House Education’s teacher advisory boards and the Pulitzer Center’s 1619 Project Education Network and represent all levels of education, from elementary school through higher education. As the very first educators to teach these books, they were tasked with developing lesson plans around one or both books and providing a written or video reflection on their experience bringing the 1619 Project into their curriculum.

Visit the Pulitzer Center’s new 1619 Project Education website at for further materials and resources. Click here to read testimonials from educators who participated in the pilot program as well as from members the Pulitzer Center’s Education Network.

“I have been teaching African American history for ten years, and I feel like it’s finally this year I am teaching African American history appropriately in a way that meets the needs and demands of my students.”

ABIGAIL HENRY, African American history teacher in Philadelphia, PA

“The inclusion of The 1619 Project in our Emancipation Curriculum truly is liberating for our students, equipping them with a strength-based education that delivers them as globally competent, and culturally proficient thinkers and citizens prepared to lead in our 21st Century American Democracy.”

—DR. FATIMA MORRELL, associate superintendent at the Office of CLRI for Buffalo Public Schools


  • Learn more at
  • Visit to learn how you can help and Penguin Random House donate copies of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story to schools and community organizations across the country. Donations accepted from November 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022.
  • Click here to read Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine, on the 1619 Project and how the discipline of U.S. history has evolved since the country’s inception.
  • Click here to listen to 1619, a five-episode podcast series from The New York Times that expands on major themes from the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story
Visit to access free online curricular materials for the book.
$38.00 US
Nov 16, 2021
624 Pages
One World

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water
The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.
$18.99 US
Nov 16, 2021
48 Pages