The 1619 Project – Dr. Phil Magness Interview

1619 was indeed a big year in Virginia’s history. In previous episodes we discussed many firsts that took place in the colony, but perhaps none of those firsts has drawn more attention than the “20 and odd’s” arrival.

In 2019 The New York Times published a series of articles highlighting that arrival. It was quite a publication with many goals, most of them political. Especially because of that political focus the 1619 Project received enormous scrutiny. It could be understood that one side of the political spectrum would attack the work, but both sides cried foul.

One of the leading critics, Dr. Phillip Magness began dissecting the work in a series of his own essays. Those essays became his book The 1619 Project: A Critique. In it, he discusses the Project’s shortcomings, while also highlighting some of what the series got right. As such, he, somewhat humorously, earned both praise and ire from Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Project’s lead editor.

His work is quite exhaustive, as you’ll hear in the interview. I’ve listed a few key links mentioned in the episode, but for further, in depth material, please, do purchase his book, The 1619 Project A Critique.

Understandably, I focus upon Virginia’s history with this podcast, and I intend to keep doing so. Because of the 1619 Project‘s continued influence, based upon it’s slavery claims reaching far back into Virginia’s history, I’ve come to believe that we needed to discuss the work in more detail, hence this episode.

There will be one more interview covering the Project’s work, but in my opinion, Dr. Magness’ scholarly expertise in this area is second to none. I trust as you listen to this episode, you’ll see why I hold him and his work in such high regard.




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is Dr. Phillip W. Magness from

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia: Introduction “In Praise of the Wilderness” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev also available on Apple Music.

**Full disclosure, I re-uploaded the Dr. Magness interview tonight.One of my faithful listeners pointed out that I erred when mentioning that Teddy Roosevelt would not publicly meet with Booker T. Washington.

Though there is nuance to the comment, Roosevelt in fact did meet with Washington at the White House.Roosevelt received incredibly negative publicity for meeting with Washington after they shared dinner together. Making the situation more unclear, the White House, not necessarily Roosevelt, stated that they did not eat together. Then a few staff members commented on the meal, but said it was not dinner, but lunch instead.

Either way, I was incorrect in saying that Roosevelt did not meet with Washington, and that portion has been struck from the episode. This message is to publicly state the change.

As always, thanks for listening. I greatly appreciate the feedback!

Virginians and their Histories – Brent Tarter Interview, Part 3

Writing Virginia’s history has a long history itself reaching back to the 17th century. Telling those stories has evolved and expanded in various ways during the past 400 years reflecting differing angles, viewpoints, and ideologies. Brent Tarter’s work is part of that long history, and he adds a new volume in which he attempts to give voice to those differing angles and viewpoints.

The volume in focus is entitled Virginians and Their Histories, a title meant to highlight the people who make Virginia’s story what it is. Tarter draws from decades worth of research work to bring this book together. It’s such a work that when Mr. Tarter and I discussed doing an interview, it soon became apparent that one recording wouldn’t do his work justice. To that end, here is the third installment, which covers the end of the Civil War period up until contemporary times.



  1. Batson, Barbara C., Julienne, Marianne E., and Tarter, J. Brent. The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia (American Heritage). Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2020.
  2. Tarter, J. Brent.Virginians and Their Histories.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  3. Tarter, J. Brent.Gerrymanders: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019
  4. Tarter, J. Brent. The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2013.
  5. Tarter, J. Brent ed. and Billings, Warren M. ed.  “Esteemed Bookes of Lawe” and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia (Early American Histories. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  6. Tarter, J. Brent. A Saga of the New South: Race, Law, and Public Debt in Virginia.Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
  7. Tarter, J. Brent. Daydreams and Nightmares: A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2017.
  8. The Dictionary of Virginia Biography at the Library of Virginia.





All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of Brent Tarter’s Virginians and Their Histories.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Six Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 5 by Erik Satie, performed by Roland Pöntinen, also available on Apple Music.