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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

'1619 Project' creator Nikole Hannah-Jones will speak at University of Michigan

Posted By on Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 4:50 PM

  • Alice Vergueiro/Abraji | Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo, Flickr Creative Commons
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the reporter behind The New York Times' popular "1619 Project" — a sprawling package of stories that posits that the true beginning of United States history starts when the first African slaves arrived in Virginia 400 years ago — will speak at the University of Michigan.

Hannah-Jones will speak on a panel with former Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor. The event is free and open to the public.

From the 1619 Project:

In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It 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.

While the project has recently come under fire from historians who disputed accuracy of some of the reporting, the NYT defended the project in a lengthy rebuttal. Hannah-Jones had a more blunt criticism of the project's detractors, tweeting, "The fact that you are so uncomfortable with a project commemorating the 400th anniversary of the slavery of African-descended people actually focusing on the experience and role of African-descended people is something you might want to contemplate."

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