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Units February 17, 2023

Yo soy moreno; yo luchare; yo seré victorioso


Lesson Summary: Students explore the history of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the resistance movements led by Afro-Latinx people of the Americas, ultimately analyzing how the legacy of this resistance drives elements of contemporary culture and society. Downloads: Unit resources

This unit was created by educators in Woodburn, OR Schools, as part of the 2023 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately three weeks, or four 50 minute class periods.

Essential Questions

  • In what ways do you see African resistance today in the Americas? 
  • What is the legacy of Africans and their descendants in the Americas?


Students will be able to…

  • Explore the history, culture, and characteristics  of early African communities 
  • Explore historical stories of resistance movements led by Indigenous and Enslaved African communities
  • Analyze and make connections to Afro-Mexicans by engaging in reporting on culture, identity, and resistance
  • Analyze the structure of The 1619 Project: New Origin Story
  • Analyze the key assertions of Nikole Hannah Jones in the opening chapter “Democracy”
  • Write an essay that captures their own “new origin story”
  • Curate a historical fact, art object, and photograph to support their essay

Unit Overview

This unit asks students to reexamine what they know about the enslavement of Africans, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and resistance movements, past and present, led by Afro-descended peoples of the Americas.

Students begin by connecting to the images that capture enslavement, resistance, and resilience in  Born on the Water. They explore a range of informational videos, essays, and primary source excerpts that detail the rich early history of African civilizations, the sequence of events that accelerated the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and then examine stories of resistance in the Americas by focusing on Afro-Latinx figures that successfully resisted slavery like Gaspar Yanga. 

Finally, students read, analyze, and discuss “Democracy,” The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. In a culminating project, students utilize the structure of The 1619 Project to create their own chapter that centers Afro-Latinx resistance and answers the following questions: 

  • In what ways do you see African resistance today in the Americas? 
  • What is the legacy of Africans and their descendants in the Americas?

Performance Task

1619 Project Final Project: Crafting Your Own New Origin Story [.pdf] [.docx]

Using The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story as a model, students will create their own New Origin Story chapter that includes the following components:

  • historical fact
  • Image
  • Poem
  • Essay

Alternative Final Project: 1619 Project Mentor Research [.pdf] [.docx]

As an alternative performance task, a student can choose to  spend more time with the writers in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. Students can research a writer and make connections between their other work and The 1619 Project.


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