Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

What Actually Happened in 1619: The Origins of Slavery in North America

February 1 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm  |  Music Center Recital Hall


The New York Times’s The 1619 Project sparked controversy and conversation across the United States about the history and legacies of slavery. The project drew its name from a date, 1619, connected to the origins of American slavery, and its publication coincided with the four-hundredth anniversary of that event.

But what actually happened in 1619? The essays collected in The 1619 Project and the important public conversations that followed only touch on the events of that year, or even on the slave trade more generally. The 1619 Project focuses crucial attention on “arguing that slavery and its legacy have profoundly shaped modern American life,” with essays on slavery’s long-term impacts on American democracy, capitalism, incarceration, and even modern transportation.

Exploring these modern legacies is crucial, but many people still have only hazy notions of why 1619 was a key turning point.

This public event brings three historians of slavery together—one focused on the importance of slavery to colonial empires, one focused on captive experiences and health in the slave trade, and one focused on the introduction of African maritime culture (and surfing!) into the Americas—to wrestle with the question: What actually happened in 1619?

Join Professors Elise Mitchell (Princeton), Kevin Dawson (UC Merced), and Greg O’Malley (UC Santa Cruz) as we explore this issue in a free public forum.



Event Parking:
– A valid UCSC permit -OR- ParkMobile payment is required to park in all parking spaces on campus.
– If parking lot attendants are on site, guests can obtain a free permit to parking in lot 126. Attendants are scheduled to be on site from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM for this event. Otherwise, purchase a permit using the ParkMobile app.

This event is presented by the Humanities Institutes and funded by a UC-MRPI Grant.


February 1
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm