Nikole Hannah-Jones, lead writer of the New York Times' 1619 Project and 2017 MacArthur Fellow, was recently interviewed in the Chicago Tribune. Hannah-Jones gave the keynote address and joined in the Q&A at “The Struggle for Justice: 1619 Project and the Changing Narrative on Mass Incarceration," a panel discussion hosted by SAIC, the Pulitzer Center, and Illinois Humanities on Tuesday, October 8.
The 1619 Project marked the 400th anniversary of the first ship that carried enslaved Africans to the United States. The project included Black academics, journalists, and writers collaborating to reexamine the legacy of slavery within the United States. Speaking about the effect of the 1619 Project, “I did not know this when I pitched the project, but this is the most important work of my life," she says to the Tribune.
Hannah-Jones also spoke about life post-project and what she is planning on doing next, she says, “If you read the whole project, I don’t think you can come away from it without understanding the project is an argument for reparations. You can’t read it and not understand that something is owed.” She states she will be working on a piece that explores the question, “If we understand that the legacy is alive right now and that so much of the conditions of black Americans can be traced to that legacy, then what do we actually owe? What is the restitution that is owed?”