104 minutes | Sep 19th 2019

Nikole Hannah-Jones on the 1619 project, choosing schools, and Cuba

“The truth is that as much democracy as this nation has today” writes Nikole Hannah-Jones “it has been borne on the backs of black resistance.”

Hannah-Jones is an investigative journalist at the New York Times Magazine, the winner of MacArthur Genius Grant (among countless other awards), and, most recently, the creator of the New York Times’ 1619 project, which explores the ways slavery shaped America.

As Hannah-Jones points out, no group in American history has more to teach us about what it means to live out the practice of democracy, in its most difficult and graceful form, than African-Americans. We also discuss:

- The economics of slavery, and the role of the cotton gin

- Why it took a civil war to end slavery in America, but not elsewhere

- What it means to love a country that doesn’t love you back

- Whether busing worked

- Why Southern schools are the most racially integrated in the US

- The long-term effects of school integration

- Whether class-based policies can solve racial inequity

- What America can learn from Cuba

- Whether racism blocked social democracy in America

- Whether any presidential candidates has a serious school integration plan

- Why housing and education segregation are so rarely discussed by politicians

- Why Hannah-Jones dislikes “gifted and talented” programs in school

And much more.


Hannah-Jones' opening essay of the 1619 project

Hannah-Jones' essay on choosing a school for her daughter

Book recommendations:

Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 W.E.B. DuBois

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Race Beat by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff

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