Nikole Hannah-Jones joined Watson Institute Senior Fellow ZZ Packer to discuss the impact and relevance of her Pulitzer Prize-winning multimedia project, The 1619 Project. The pair discussed the impact of the high-profile multimedia project aimed at bringing chattel slavery and its consequences to the forefront of American history, as well as its criticisms and its relevance today at a virtual Watson event on October15.
The seed for The 1619 Project was planted when Hannah-Jones was a high school student taking a semester-long Black studies elective. "Never before had I learned so much about Black history and Black contributions," she said. "I remember feeling simultaneously angry and empowered — empowered because learning just that little taste of history told me there was a whole world of history that no one had bothered to teach me," Hannah-Jones said. "I was angry that no one had ever thought that maybe this is information we should know."
The 1619 Project was published by The New York Times Magazine last year, 400 years after the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in what is now Virginia.