Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones on ‘The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story’

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Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is the creator of "The 1619 Project." (James Estrin)

“Many historians have been seduced by the desire to manage the story of our founding, protecting our identity as an exceptional, fundamentally just nation,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in the preface to “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.” The project, created by Hannah-Jones, reframes our popular understanding of U.S. history and considers “a new origin story” that started not with the Declaration of Independence, but rather with the introduction of slavery in late August 1619, when the first ship carrying enslaved people from Africa arrived in the British colony of Virginia. Originally launched as a special edition of the New York Times Magazine in 2019, an expanded book version of the project came out in November.  We’ll talk to Hannah-Jones about the new book, the debates the project has sparked about how we write and teach U.S. history and the power of shared national memory.


Nikole Hannah-Jones, investigative reporter covering racial injustice, The New York Times Magazine; creator, "The 1619 Project" which is now a book, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story"; Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, Howard University