SpeakHER50 - Nikole Hannah Jones

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The first two episodes of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ compelling Hulu docuseries The 1619 Project have dropped, and folks are already talking up a storm.

Based on her 2021 book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, the six-episode docuseries strives to tackle the origin story of America through slavery. It also examines the oppression that Black people experienced years after bondage and how these transgressions helped to shape America into the powerful nation it is today.

In the first episode titled “Democracy,” Jones peels back the layers of her personal story, growing up as a mixed raced child in Iowa. According to NBC News, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author describes how racism, sexism and classism impacted her upbringing, as she explores the historical events and political barriers that may have caused these complicated societal issues.

Hannah-Jones takes things a step further in “Race,” the second episode of the series. She examines the construct of race as a political invention created to justify the economic exploitation of African people during slavery and promote white supremacy, a Hulu synopsis notes.



By placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the forefront of the United States’ national narrative, Hannah-Jones hopes to build a new American origin story. The project also aims to shine a painful light on the ongoing effects of slavery and discrimination on Black Americans in today’s society.


Social media reacts to the first two episodes

After the series launched Jan. 26, fans took to Twitter to react to Jones’ critically acclaimed masterpiece.

“So well done,” tweeted media personality Gee Scott Sr. “The first 2 episodes were fantastic… Had me in tears.”

Another fan thanked Jones for creating the series at such a critical time in history.

“While governments are banning books, restricting access to education, and diluting the Black struggle. I’m grateful for the work of @nhannahjones and her fellow writers,” the user tweeted.


As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, Nikole Hannah-Jones stunned the world in 2019, when she published The 1619 Project in The New York Times. The piece has been used in some classrooms across the country to teach critical race theory, a cross-disciplinary examination of how laws, social movements, and media can heavily shape notions of race and ethnicity.

While some have celebrated the project for shining a light on Black history in America, many right-wing politicians have protested against the piece. Naysayers believe that the literary project sparks too much debate over racism and the country’s origins.

Some states, like Texas and Arkansas, have gone to great lengths to keep The 1619 Project out of classrooms. Since January 2021, there have been 22 bills created to ban The 1619 Project from state schools, according to NewsOne. Fourteen of those bills are currently pending, six have either failed or have been withdrawn. Sadly, in addition to Texas and Arkansas, last year, bans were also proposed in Mississippi and Missouri.

After watching the series Thursday, one fan from Texas tweeted that The 1619 Project book would be required reading for her children.

“So when Greg Abbott and the Texas school boards attempt to rewrite history to indoctrinate children with white washed history, our kids will be prepared to challenge such foolishness,” she added.

Four more episodes remain, and critics are already buzzing about the sixth episode. The episode titled “Fear” traces the history of slave uprisings and how officials sought to control the Black population during slavery through the Jim Crow era. It also examines how these historical factors have impacted modern-day policing, according to CNN.

So much to unpack with this series. Have you been watching The 1619 Project on Hulu? Tell us your thoughts below.


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