1619: History is in the land, part I

Reads "1619" in large yellow numbers against a background of calm, but grey ocean.

It’s about land, family, and intergenerational knowledge. It’s also about the right to own and profit from the land you work. Episode five of 1619 is divided into two parts both called “The Land of Our Fathers.” This is about part I.

Special Field Order No. 15 was intended to provide land to the recently emancipated Black families in America. After William Sherman left Black families to be massacred by Confederate soldiers, Lincoln ordered him to convene a council of Black men to determine what their communities needed. They asked for land they could own and work. This led to Special Field Order No. 15, but Andrew Jackson became President soon afterwards, and the order was reversed.

In modern day Louisiana, June and Angie Provost still struggle for the right to keep the land that June’s father and grandfather worked, and which he loves.

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