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The 1619 Project Community Read

July 8

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1619 project

Join the Winona Public Library and Minnesota Marine Art Museum as we read both The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones and children’s book, Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson and illustrated by Nikkolas Smith throughout the month of August.

The idea of The 1619 Project is that our national narrative is more accurately told if we begin not on July 4, 1776, but in late August of 1619, when a ship arrived in Jamestown bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa.

Born on the Water tells the story of a young girl who seeks Grandma’s council unfinished family tree assignment for school. The girl learns about her ancestors, the consequences of slavery, and the history of Black resistance in the United States.

Orchestrated by the editors of The New York Times Magazine, led by MacArthur ‘genius’ and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project’s collection of essays and historical vignettes includes some of the most outstanding journalists, thinkers, and scholars of American history and culture–including Linda Villarosa, Jamelle Bouie, Jeneen Interlandi, Matthew Desmond, Wesley Morris, and Bryan Stevenson.

Free copies of both books can be found in little free libraries as well as the Winona Public Library beginning the week of July 8th. The books were made possible by the Friends of the Winona Public Library.

The 1619 Project Community Read Brochure & Discussion Guide (PDF)

Three events are happening in conjunction with the read:

The Library’s I’m with the Banned: A Banned Books Book Club will read and discuss Born on the Water on Monday, August 5th at 4:30PM in the Library’s Bell Art Room. The children’s book has been banned in two states. Share your thoughts on the book and it’s banning.

On Tuesday, August 6th at 2PM in the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Curator of Learning and Community Impact, Heather Casper, will lead an interactive program in the Across a Wide Ocean exhibition featuring the dynamic illustrations by Nikkolas Smith from the book Born on the Water.

The final program will be a discussion of the book, The 1619 Project, on Wednesday, August 7th at 2PM in the Library’s Bell Art Room. Tell us what you thought – did you like the book or not, did you finish it? Share your reflection of the book.


July 8
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Winona Public Library
151 W 5th St
Winona, MN 55987 United States
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