Academics Call For New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ Pulitzer To Be Revoked

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A group of academics, scholars, and literary notables has called on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the award they extended to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the New York Times writer and author of the “1619 Project.”

The 1619 Project supposes that the American Revolutionary War was primarily fought to protect the institution of slavery and that the founding of our nation began with the first arrival of the slave trade on the shores of the New World in 1619 and not with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The New York Times created an initiative surrounding the 1619 Project that included instructional materials that eventually found its way into US history curriculums in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other urban school systems across the country.

Since then, Hannah-Jones has admitted that the 1619 Project was an effort to control the narrative more than it was an accurate portrayal of history. Once scrutiny of her writing came into the public square, both she and the New York Times scrubbed central aspects of the project, angering progressives and calling into question the legitimacy of the project as a whole.

A letter hosted at the website for the National Association of Scholars reads, in part, “We call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the 2020 Prize for Commentary awarded to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her lead essay in ‘The 1619 Project.’ That essay was entitled, ‘Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.’ But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence.”

Stanley Kurtz, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and signatory to the letter wrote, “Imagine that a Pulitzer Prize for Literature had been awarded to a novel whose author, after receiving the prize, surreptitiously edited out the most famous passage from the e-book and denied repeatedly that the passage had ever been in the novel to begin with.”

Hannah-Jones has, since the controversy began, altered her identity on her Twitter account to throw detractors off. She now goes by the moniker “Ida Bae Wells.”