‘1619 Project’ Creator Nikole Hannah-Jones Joining Faculty At University Of North Carolina

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New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina (UNC), the school announced Monday.

Jones will be the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media starting in July, UNC said in a statement. Jones earned her master’s degree at UNC Hussman in 2003 and currently covers civil rights and racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine.

“This is the story of a leader returning to a place that transformed her life and career trajectory,” said UNC Hussman dean Susan King. “Giving back is part of Nikole’s DNA, and now one of the most respected investigative journalists in America will be working with our students on projects that will move their careers forward and ignite critically important conversations.” (RELATED: University Paid Author Of Debunked 1619 Project $25,000 For Virtual Speaking Event)

Jones developed “The 1619 Project,” an initiative in the New York Times that seeks to retell American history by placing slavery at the center of the country’s historical narrative. The project, which argues that America’s “true founding” was when the first slaves arrived, has been criticized by many historians who claim that the series is historically inaccurate.

After Jones won a Pulitzer Prize in 2020, the National Association of Scholars published a letter signed by 21 scholars calling for the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind Jones’ award.

“We call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the 2020 Prize for Commentary awarded to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her lead essay in ‘The 1619 Project,'” wrote historian Peter Wood, one of the people who signed the letter. “That essay was entitled, ‘Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.’ But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence.”