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Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2021 Urban One Honors award winner

Source: Nikole Hannah-Jones / Nikole Hannah-Jones

 

Nikole Hannah-Jones’s critically-acclaimed piece, The 1619 Project, is coming to Hulu.

According to National Geographic, the six-episode limited docuseries will pull back the layers of Jones’ famed literary project, attempting to reframe the history of Black America. By placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the forefront of the United States national narrative, Hannah-Jones hopes to build a new American origin story.

Ahead of the docuseries premiere slated for Jan. 26, the New York Times journalist took to her Twitter account to share a short teaser of the forthcoming piece.

“Two years in the making,” she tweeted in December. “I am SO proud of this work.”

The 1619 Project has sparked several debates about race in America

In 2019, Nikole Hannah-Jones shocked the world when she published The 1619 Project in The New York Times. The piece has sparked several debates about U.S. History and how race should be taught in classrooms across the nation.

While some have celebrated the project for shining a light on Black history in America, many right-wing politicians have protested against the piece. Critics have often compared the project to critical race theory, a cross-disciplinary examination of how laws, social movements, and media can heavily shape notions of race and ethnicity. Naysayers believe that the literary project sparks too much debate over racism and the country’s origins.

Some states, like Texas and Arkansas, have gone to great lengths to keep The 1619 Project out of classrooms. Since January 2021, there have been 22 bills created to ban The 1619 Project from state schools. “While 14 of those are currently pending, six failed or were withdrawn,” Fox News noted. In addition to Texas and Arkansas, two bans were proposed in Mississippi and one petition was created in Missouri.

 

Critics are already buzzing about Episode Six

Despite the backlash, The 1619 Project remains a popular read for many people across America. Last year, the long-form piece was adapted into a podcast and a book, that features essays on race, religion, and politics.

According to Hulu’s synopsis, each episode in the docuseries– “Democracy,” “Race,” “Music,” “Capitalism,” “Fear” and “Justice” will dive deeper into the essays from the book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. It will also highlight slavery’s impact on contemporary American culture.

Episode six, titled “Fear,” seems to have some film and TV critics talking ahead of the premiere. CNN reported that the episode “traces concern about slave uprisings and controlling the Black population during slavery through the Jim Crow era and into modern policing, explaining how that mentality has informed vigilante-style actions by Whites that have resulted in the death of Black youths.”

The 1619 Project premieres Jan. 26 on Hulu. Will you be watching?

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