Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights and racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine. Hannah-Jones also co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization dedicated to increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color. In 2017, she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship (colloquially known as the “Genius Grant”), and in 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on “The 1619 Project.”
“I see my work as forcing us to confront our hypocrisy, forcing us to confront the truth we would rather ignore,” Jones shared on her website.
“The 1619 Project” was launched in August 2019 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people arriving in North America. Developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the project features 10 essays, a photo series, and a collection of poems about the history of slavery in the Americas and the long-lasting impact it has had on Americans. The controversial project received both acclaim and criticism from readers. In 2020, Jones was award the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the introductory essay to the project. The award citing her “sweeping, provocative, and personal essay for the groundbreaking ‘1619 Project’, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story, prompting public conversation about the nation’s founding and evolution.”
“[I]t would be historically inaccurate to reduce the contributions of Black people to the vast material wealth created by our bondage. Black Americans have also been, and continue to be, foundational to the idea of American freedom. More than any other group in this country’s history, we have served, generation after generation, in an overlooked but vital role: It is we who have been the perfecters of this democracy,” Jones wrote in her essay.
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