Nikole Hannah-Jones: 1619 Project founder slams critics, says 'interest groups' responsible for dividing US

Nikole Hannah-Jones: 1619 Project founder slams critics, says 'interest groups' responsible for dividing US
Nikole Hannah-Jones defended 'The 1619 Project' and claimed that special interests were responsible for dividing America (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: 1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones has slammed the critics of her racial politics calling it the "greatest honor" and that it is driven by special people who benefit from division. Hanna-Jones, speaking at an MSNBC event called a 'National Day of Racial Healing in New Orleans town hall, she interacted with the audience and said, "the truth makes powerful people in this country very scared. And I’m glad they’re scared."

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According to the 46-year-old investigative journalist, the "truth" is an America built on slavery. Hannah-Jones said, "If we acknowledge what this country was actually built upon, if we acknowledge that the reason that black Americans live in the circumstances we do is not because of our pathology, but because of a country that was erected literally on extracting wealth from us, then we have to do something about it." Host of the event, Chris Hayes, kicked it off with a nod to the Native American tribes who lived in New Orleans. Hayes said, "We want to acknowledge, thank and honor the indigenous peoples for whom this part of the world has long been home. Like the Chitimacha, the Choctaw, the Houma and so many others." As the event was conducted in a circular space, Hayes explained that MSNBC was "drawing on the indigenous practice of healing circles." 

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Honoree Nikole Hannah-Jones poses with the Spirit of Justice award backstage during the LDF 34th National Equal Justice Awards Dinner on May 10, 2022 in New York City.
Honoree Nikole Hannah-Jones poses with the Spirit of Justice award backstage during the LDF 34th National Equal Justice Awards Dinner on May 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Legal Defense Fund )

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Nikole Hannah-Jones slams criticism on 1619 Project

According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, racial division stems from bad history, and that is why she has received such criticism. Shutting down trolls, Hannah-Jones said, "The problem is we’re all taught this history so poorly. We do have these suspicions of each other." She states that there are entrenched interest groups in the US that solely focus on keeping Asians and African Americans divided. She continues, "There are powerful interests that don’t want us to understand that history, that don’t want us to understand our common struggle. So we’re over here fighting for crumbs and respect while the hierarchy is maintained and stays in place."

'The 1619 Project' was published in August 2019 as a collaboration between Hanna-Jones and New York Times. It's an anthology of essays and poetry which is a guide for educators arguing that America was founded the year a group of slaves arrived in the country and not when independence was granted in 1776.

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Since then, she has broadcasted the same precedence in such a way that Hulu, on December 15, 2023, announced an adaptation of her work which will soon be a "six-part docuseries." The journalist took to her Twitter to announce the news and wrote, "Two years in the making, we can finally announce the Jan. 26 @hulu premier date for the #1619Project six-part docuseries. I am SO proud of this work. Join us for this new American origin story. @[email protected] @caitlinroper @Oprah @nytimes #1619hulu"



 

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