After a protracted fight over tenure for a position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the acclaimed investigative journalist decided to take her talents to Howard University to help train the next generation of Black journalists.
Nikole Hannah-Jones continues to live rent-free in the minds of conservatives. Republican lawmakers and conservative talking heads are still in their feelings about The 1619 Project, the landmark journalistic effort she helped create for the New York Times. They've tried everything in their power to keep the history of slavery and its legacy from be taught, including passing legislation to stop the teaching of "critical race theory," a term that's been co-opted by the right to mean anything that discusses the history of slavery and racism—like The 1619 Project (Wait until they find out that The 1619 Project is coming out as a book on Nov. 16). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tried her by denying the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist tenure for a position that historically came with that protection—a decision which, despite the university's board of trustees' best attempt to claim this was for other reasons, was 100 percent influenced by her involvement with The 1619 Project. After UNC eventually decided to grant Hannah-Jones tenure, she turned them down in favor of a new position created at Howard University. As the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism for the HBCU, Hannah-Jones will also head the newly created Center for Journalism and Democracy to nurture aspiring Black journalists.