by Tyler O’Neil
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, on Tuesday, joined fourth graders at Fort Monroe outside Newport News, Virginia, hosting an event teaching about the history of the fort, where Black slaves fled during the Civil War to become freemen at what became known as “Freedom’s Fortress.”
The Youngkin event came two days after Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times’ “The 1619 Project,” claimed that Youngkin “does not want children to learn that history.”
“The 1619 Project” author spoke on Feb. 19 at the McLean Community Center in a one-hour speech for which the Fairfax County Public Library system paid her $29,350 and the community center paid her an additional $6,000. She acknowledged that her project rewrites history and urged her audience to support reparations to Blacks for slavery and to “subvert” America’s economic system, which she claimed is beset by institutional racism. She also suggested that the Confederates understood the Constitution accurately, establishing the United States as a “slave nation.”
Hannah-Jones spoke about the central role Virginia plays in the history of American slavery, stating that the “entire legal architecture of what is race, who’s black, who’s not, whose children will be born enslaved, whose children will be born free, it all is created in Virginia.”
“Massive resistance to Brown v. Board, the strategy is born here, and yet you have a governor who does not want children to learn that history even as they still sit in segregated classrooms,” The 1619 Project author claimed. She has previously criticized Youngkin’s efforts to remove critical race theory (a lens encouraging students to view America as institutionally racist) from school curricula, saying he aims to provide a “sanitized” history for “White kids.”
Yet two days after Hannah-Jones attacked Youngkin, the governor was teaching Virginia’s children about slavery, according to footage of the Fort Monroe event obtained by The Daily Signal.
“We just covered in that lesson over 400 years of history, and it’s really important history, starting in 1619, where the first Africans were brought to this country as slaves, and it was a terrible, terrible, terrible beginning,” the governor said after Jess Meadows, education programs manager at the Fort Monroe Authority, led students through a lesson.