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Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses her new book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, with Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses her new book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, with the Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida at a LA Times book club event on Nov. 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. | Source: Jason Armond / Getty

World-renowned investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones will be introducing a brand new seminar to Howard University this fall.

The creator of the “1619 Project,” an initiative that launched a nationwide discussion on the role of slavery and how it has influenced the fabric of this nation, announced Monday that she will be bringing those same teachings to “the Mecca” of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

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“Howard University students: I’m teaching a seminar on the #1619Project this semester,” Hannah-Jones tweeted. “Join us as we deconstruct the essays as works of journalism & historical argument, discuss critiques & the role of journalism versus historiography. Open to majors, non-majors: 91313 – MJFC 315 – 01”

“Students will also debate the role of journalists, historians, and politicians in shaping national identity and policy,” Hannah-Jones continued in a Twitter thread. “They will engage the critiques of the project, efforts to legislate against the project, as well as read and discuss paired and companion texts. We will also be in conversation with the historians and writers who created the text. I am excited for this semester. Can’t wait to learn with you!”

Last year, Hannah-Jones was involved in a public tenure battle with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After UNC finally agreed to grant her tenure following a controversial back and forth played out in the press, Hannah-Jones shocked everyone by deciding that she would accept a similar position offered by Howard University.

“I really wanted to take my talents and the resources I could bring and bring them to an institution that was actually built for Black uplift and Black excellence, that wasn’t built in opposition to the work that I want to do and me as a human being,” Hannah-Jones told NPR‘s Here and Now in the days after announcing her Howard gig.

The New York Times journalist is now looking to establish her impact on the next generation of Black students at one of the most prominent HBCUs in the country.

The course will be open to all students and could have a significant impact in opening up the minds of young and talented Black individuals and help shape future leaders.

“I’ve spent my entire life proving that I belong in elite white spaces that were not built for Black people,” she told Gayle King at the time during an appearance on Good Morning America. “I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. That Black professionals should feel free, and actually perhaps an obligation, to go to our own institutions and bring our talents and resources to our own institutions and help to build them up as well.”

“To be able to bring that type of resources to a university that always punches above its weight, I’m so excited,” Hannah-Jones added. “Something great came out of this.”


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