1619, not 1776

Here during Black History Month, let’s consider origin stories. There has been much press the past few years about identifying the founding date of the United States not as 1776, instead as 1619, the year the first African slave ship arrived on the shores of Virginia. This view acknowledges the slavery and racism which has been central in the American story for four hundred years. What we include in origin stories and what we leave out is significant: origin stories influence how we see ourselves today and move into the future.