ABC touts 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones as a ‘symbol of truth’

New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones received nothing short of praise from ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday.

The New York Times journalist sat down with host Robin Roberts who immediately introduced Hannah-Jones as “one of the most dynamic and vocal journalists today” as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and a “conversation starter.”

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New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was called out Thursday for claiming there is no need to "leave out context and inconvenient facts" from a strong argument when critics pointed out she did exactly that with her controversial "1619 Project." (Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was called out Thursday for claiming there is no need to “leave out context and inconvenient facts” from a strong argument when critics pointed out she did exactly that with her controversial “1619 Project.” (Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)
(Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Among some of the topics discussed included Hannah-Jones being denied tenure at her alma mater of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. At the time, Hannah-Jones suggested racism was one of the factors that prevented her from receiving the position, and continued to push that theory to Roberts.

“Well, what I learned is one, that you can do all of the things that we are told we are to do to be successful, and in the end, as a Black woman, you can still be denied, and that we have to take those moments and use those moments to exercise our power, and to say that we’ll be in control of our own destiny, and that’s what I decided to do with Howard, and I’m just so excited and honored to be there,” Hannah-Jones said.

Roberts also pressed Hannah-Jones on her critics, despite serving as “a symbol of representation, of strength and truth” with the 1619 Project.

“People — there are many people who look at you and they say, you are a symbol of representation, of strength and truth, but you know you have your critics as well. How can we have as a nation, a discussion about race that moves the discussion forward?” Roberts asked.

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA – Kellyanne Conway discusses the Trump Campaign on “Good Morning America,” 9/7/16, airing on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Photo by ) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
(Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Hannah-Jones implied critics of the 1619 Project are people who don’t want to “confront the truth in this country” when it comes to race.

“I think one, you have to begin with the truth. So much of the attacks against ‘The 1619 project’ and what we’re seeing as laws that are trying to stop the teaching of more accurate histories are because we haven’t wanted to confront the truth in this country. The truth is often painful, but it is in confronting that, that we are able to actually heal and move on,” Hannah-Jones said.

The 1619 Project received criticism from historians for putting out several incorrect statements and interpretations including the idea that the Revolutionary War was fought over slavery. Despite these errors, she continued to receive praise from media outlets.

Roberts noted how the 1619 Project was added to many schools’ curriculum.

“When the ‘The 1619 Project’ came out, many schools added it to their curriculum. There were parents and others that objected to that,” Roberts said. “Why is it important for young people in particular to learn about American history?”

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Hannah-Jones insisted that her 1619 Project represented “a history that reflects the country that we see.”

“I talk about in the preface that I first came across the date 1619 in a black studies elective that I took when I was 16 years old and just having that small window open to this whole world of history that I didn’t know changed my whole life, and so I think children are — they are able to understand complex stories and nuanced histories and it is empowering to actually be taught a history that reflects the country that we see,” she said.

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