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Harvard University’s $100 million to address slavery ties ‘way too low’: 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones

Harvard University's $100 million to address slavery ties 'way too low': 1619 Project's Nikole Hannah-Jones

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FIRST ON By New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah Jones said Saturday that Harvard University’s $100 million pledge to attempt to atone for its historic ties to slavery is “way too low.”

Hannah-Jones made the comments during the National Antiracist Book Festival hosted by Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, in a Washington Post op-ed co-authored with Chair of the Presidential Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery and Dean of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute Tomiko Brown-Nagin, announced Tuesday that the Ivy League college will spend $100 million to study its ties to slavery, including an endowment “to support these efforts in perpetuity.” 


FILE – Harvard University
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The funding will also support confronting “continuing inequities — tangible legacies of slavery — affecting communities in the United States and in the Caribbean, to which New England’s slavery economies were closely tied,” the pair stated.

The report did not recommend direct financial reparations.

“We are not naive. This is an age of deep social divisions, and we know our efforts may be met with criticism and cynicism. Some will disparage disclosures of entanglements with slavery and insist that attempts to remedy past wrongs are unnecessary. Others, dedicated to specific forms of redress such as one-time payments in reparations, will argue that any other approach is insufficient,” Bacow and Brown-Nagin predicted. 

Hannah-Jones did just that on Saturday at Boston University’s event.

“Well, one, you didn’t ask this, but that $100 million that Harvard has put aside, you know, it’s nice, but it’s way too low,” Hannah-Jones said.


1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones is seen as a hero to liberal media organizations and Hollywood alike despite widespread backlash to the award-winning project.
((Photo by: Jeff Scheart/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images))

During same panel on Saturday, Hannah-Jones also said that Republicans are a “White party” that “understand[s] that they actually cannot win elections with majorities.”

“And in this country, we have a swift demographic change occurring where Republicans understand that they actually cannot win elections with majorities because they are essentially a White party and Democrats are a party that actually represents the majority of Americans, which is plurality of White voters and the majority of voters of all other races, that these two things go hand in hand,” Hannah-Jones said.

Hannah-Jones is best known for her work on The New York Times’ Magazine’s 1619 Project, which has been criticized for allegedly telling inaccurate parts of history, such as the claim that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” 

The Times later corrected the essay to read, “…one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.”


Nikole Hannah-Jones signs books for her supporters before taking the stage to discuss her book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” at a 2021  L.A. Times book club event. 
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Hannah-Jones recently released a book based on The 1619 Project, which topped the best-seller lists of both Amazon and The New York Times. There’s also a children’s version of the book, titled “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water.”

Fox News has reached out to Harvard University for comment.

Darshan Shah
the authorDarshan Shah