University News

UMass Amherst to Host ‘A Conversation about Truth, History, and The 1619 Project’ with Nikole Hannah-Jones on Sept. 23

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst will host “A Conversation about Truth, History, and ‘The 1619 Project’ with Nikole Hannah-Jones” on Friday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. at the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts.

Nikole hannah-jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones. Credit: James Estrin, NYT

Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of “The 1619 Project” and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, will engage in a discussion of history, race and democracy during an hour-long conversation with Barbara Krauthamer, professor of history and dean of the UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Drawing on ideas from “The 1619 Project,” Hannah-Jones will reframe American history, highlight the contributions of Black Americans and illuminate key moments of struggle and resistance, while exploring the legacy of slavery in our cultural, political and legal institutions and the way it continues to shape contemporary American life.

Originally published Aug. 18, 2019, as a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, “The 1619 Project” consisted of a series of essays and literary works commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in what would become the United States by examining slavery’s modern legacy and reframing the way we understand this history and the contributions of Black Americans to the nation. Upon its publication in book form in 2021, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” became an instant No. 1 New York Times bestseller.

Hannah-Jones’ lead essay, “Our Democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true,” was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. Her reporting has also earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the “genius” grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times. She has also earned the John Chancellor Award for Distinguished Journalism and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. In 2020, she was inducted into the Society of American Historians and in 2021 she was named a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which seeks to increase the number of reporters and editors of color. She is also the founder of the 1619 Freedom School, a free, afterschool literacy program in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa.

She holds a master of arts in mass communication from the University of North Carolina and earned her B.A. in history and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Tickets for “A Conversation about Truth, History, and ‘The 1619 Project’ with Nikole Hannah-Jones,” which are free to members of the UMass Amherst community and $15 for the general public, can be procured via the Bromery Center for the Arts website. More information about Nikole Hannah-Jones, including an archive of her work and media appearances, can be found at