By: Emma Parker

Nikole Hannah-Jones, founder of the 1619 Project, was granted tenure by the Board of Trustees at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on Wednesday.

After much controversy, the UNC Chapel Hill board ruled in a 9-4 decision, that Hannah-Jones would be a tenured professor for the UNC journalism school. Hannah-Jones joined the Hussman School of Journalism and Media in July. The discussion of whether she would be tenured resulted in both criticism and protests from hundreds of students and faculty and even led to Hannah-Jones stating she would not accept a professorial position without tenure.

The 1619 Project is a journalism project from The New York Times that claims that slavery shaped and is deeply intertwined with all American political, social, and economic institutions. Many of their claims were quietly changed after being proven wrong by scholars. The claims stated that the founding of America did not happen in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but rather in 1619 when slaves first arrived in Virginia. Despite their inaccurate framing of American history, the project continues to be used in many public schools for teaching purposes.

Hannah-Jones, represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, commented on the decision, “Today’s outcome and the actions of the past month are about more than just me. This fight is about ensuring the journalistic and academic freedom of Black writers, researchers, teachers, and students.”

The decision to intertwine the 1619 Project in the school’s journalism school creates woke and virtue-signaling journalists who are taught to tell their readers what to think. This decision will only help in pulling journalism and the media further away from the truth.

Emma Parker is a National Journalism Center summer intern and a student at Christopher Newport University.