Texas officials approve Texas 1836 Project to counter the 1619 Project
In response to the 1619 Project and its examination of slavery, Texas leaders have Texas 1836 Project that highlights their state’s contributions.
When The New York Times launched the 1619 Project, an ongoing initiative to reexamine the legacy of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans, in 2019, it sparked a national debate about the “true founding” of America. Now, in response to the 1619 Project and its examination of slavery, Texas leaders have created an alternative project that highlights their state’s contributions.
Last week, a committee appointed by Texas leaders including Gov. Greg Abbott approved a 15-page draft of a document titled the Texas 1836 Project, which is named for the year that Texas declared its independence from Mexico. A brochure featuring the approved text will be given to those seeking a Texas driver’s license, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Gov. Abbott greenlit the idea of promoting “patriotic education” in June 2021 when he enacted Bill 2497, which is focused on “the state’s history founding” and how “Texas became so exceptional.”
The brochure touches on Texas’ complicated history with slavery, which is described as “far from perfect.” It also mentions the state’s past discriminatory laws against Black people and how they “barred African Americans from voting” in 1923.
Some critics of the Texas 1836 Project have pointed out their concerns with the pamphlet — including its title, which highlights the year of Texas’ independence from Mexico but does not include the emancipation date of enslaved Black and Indigenous people. Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project, said the Texas project was a tactic to limit the discussion of slavery.