The 1619 Project, an ongoing journalism project conceived by Nikole Hannah-Jones and published by the New York Times Magazine, commemorates the 400th anniversary of the date the first enslaved Africans were brought to the American colonies. The initiative aims to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” The school curriculum linked to the New York Times’s 1619 Project is the target of state censorship on the grounds that its critical reframing is a “misrepresentation” of American history. As a result, five states are attempting to bar its use in classrooms.
In addition to developing the 1619 Project, Hannah-Jones has written extensively about school resegregation across the country and examined the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act. In 2016, Nikole Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization dedicated to increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color. She currently serves as the Preservation Week 2021 Honorary Chair.
In this dialogue, Nikole Hannah Jones and Lindsay Cronk will explore the importance of access to knowledge, the value of critical consideration and reinterpretation, the connections between knowledge creators and library workers, and the need to challenge censorship and false neutrality claims.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. She has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times. Hannah-Jones also earned the John Chancellor Award for Distinguished Journalism and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. In 2020 she was inducted into the Society of American Historians and in 2021, into the North Carolina Media Hall of Fame. She also serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Investigative Reporting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which seeks to increase the number of reporters and editors of color. She holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina and earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame.