Author Of ‘1619 Project’ Nikole Hannah-Jones To Receive Honorary Doctorate

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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Nikole Hannah-Jones, 1619 Project creator, will receive an honorary degree from Spelman College during its commencement ceremony later this month, the college announced.

Hannah-Jones will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, during the 136th commencement ceremony on May 21 and deliver the keynote speech, the announcement reads. The 1619 Project is a “reframing of American history that placed slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative,” according to its website(RELATED: Liberal Students, Academics Are Out To Revoke Conservatives’ Honorary Degrees)

The book, which was a project of the New York Times Magazine, was recently adapted into a TV series on Hulu and criticized by historians for containing historical inaccuracies. Critics slammed the project for alleging the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery, which the magazine amended in 2020.

“We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists,” the update read. “The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists. A note has been appended to the story as well.”

The 1619 Project was launched in 2019 and “offered a revealing new origin story for the United States” that “helped explain not only persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today, but also the roots of so much of what makes the country unique,” according to its website.

“This is … almost a fantasy version of history that [NHJ] has settled upon after badly misreading historical evidence,” Phil Magness, author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique,” previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation of the Hulu series. “And a lot of it comes back to her attempting to backfill her narrative after she came under criticism for this claim by cherry picking-bits and pieces of the truth and bits and pieces of mythology that she’s gotten from other historians.”

Hannah-Jones is also the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University and founder of its Center for Journalism & Democracy, Spelman College’s announcement reads. She has a bachelor’s degree in History and African American studies from the University of Notre Dame and earned a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The Spelman College Commencement speaker is chosen through an annual selection process,” a Spelman College Spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Graduating seniors, faculty, and staff offer speaker suggestions that are then reviewed by a committee. Speaker suggestions are based on a number of considerations, including outstanding achievement in an academic field, the arts, business, etc., that align with the Spelman College mission.”

Hannah-Jones did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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