How the publication of the 1619 Project has positively and negatively affected the life of Nikole Hannah-Jones

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How the publication of the 1619 Project has positively and negatively affected the life of Nikole Hannah-Jones?

When New York magazine’s 1619 Project was released in August of 2019 there was a line out the door in New York City. Following its inception in 2010, the project has grown to include an audio series, secondary-level curriculum and books that explore the impact of slavery on the development of American political, social and economic institutions today. Nikole Hannah-Jones, the reporter who came up with the idea for the project, is overjoyed with the positive response she has received. In the beginning, the response was overwhelming. People were waiting in line for copies, and she was giving speeches all over the country. It was announced on May 4th, 2020, by the Pulitzer Prize Board that the 1619 Project’s founder, Nikole Hannah-Jones, would receive the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her introductory essay to the project. Some historians and political commentators have argued against the project, however. Some of Hannah-Jones’ work was objected to by a Princeton historian, Sean Wilentz, who quietly circulated a letter. When James McPherson joined forces with Gordon Wood and Victoria Bynum to write a letter accusing the project of prioritizing ideology over historical understanding, they raised “strong reservations” about the project and demanded that factual errors be made. The Wilentz letter, which was signed and published in the December 2019 issue of the New York Times Magazine, claimed that the project had “significant factual errors” and accused the creators of prioritizing ideology over historical understanding. It’s easy to overlook the importance of a well-written letter in the age of online invective. As a result of its authorship and the respect in which he is held by historians generally, the 1619 Project has drawn both supporters and critics. Nonetheless, some historians who did not sign the letter questioned whether it was intended to discredit laymen who questioned an interpretation of American national identity held dear by liberals and conservatives. Critics claimed that The New York Times had softened its stance on some of the project’s more contentious claims after changes were made without accompanying editorial notes in September 2020. It is unclear whether those 1619 arrivals were forced into slavery because of their intermarriage with English and native people, as well as the creation of a black community in the colonial United States, despite the Project’s reference to slavery in American colonial history. It has also been suggested, however, that European slavery in the New World began as early as 1494 or 1493, when Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas. Scholars and journalists at The New York Times have been at odds over the course of American society for some time. simply because there is no way to separate the country’s pro- and anti-slavery sentiments.

Work cited

Mitchell Patterson, Tiffany, and Christine McWhorter. “Black Music is American Music: Learning Underrepresented Aspects of Black History in College through Critical Race Media Literacy.” International Journal of Multicultural Education 22.2 (2020): 145-162.

Malin, Joel R., and Dustin Hornbeck. “Historical knowledge mobilisation in a post-factual era in the United States.” Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice (2021).

Lewis, Erin, and Annette Teasdell. “Health, Wellness, and History: Enhancing Self-Perceptions for Black Students through Revolutionary Approaches to Education.” Black History Bulletin 84.2 (2021): 24-26.

Flemming-Hunter, Sheila. “Project 1619 Revisited.” Phylon (1960-) 57.1 (2020): 76-93.

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