This unit was created by African American History at Mastery Charter Schools, part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately three weeks, or fourteen class periods.

Essential Questions

  • What was the social, economic, and political impact of the Atlantic Slave War?
  • What key claims does The 1619 Project make about the legacy of slavery?
  • What has caused resistance to The 1619 Project?

Unit Overview

In this unit, students will evaluate key claims made in essays from The 1619 Project as well as writing that criticizes the project. They will discuss the legacy the year 1619 in the history of the United States and explain the social, economic, and political impact of slavery in a research paper. This unit specifically provides students with an opportunity to discuss the contributions Black people have made to America and controversy surrounding the teaching/legacy of slavery.


Students will be able to…

  • Articulate the difference between arguments made for American exceptionalism and the legacy of slavery in the U.S.
  • Write a four-paragraph paper about the impact of slavery, citing evidence from primary sources discussed in class and from their notes taken during 1619 Project discussion.
  • Make connections between slavery and issues of race in the U.S. today.

Performance Task

Students will write a four-five paragraph paper describing the social, political, and economic impact of slavery. They will be required to cite a minimum of two sources, drawing on primary source documents, class discussions of The 1619 Project, and other class readings.

Implementation Suggestions:

  1. Leave two days for initial writing
  2. Read first draft and provide comments
  3. Return for students to write second draft

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Racial Justice

Racial Justice