Nikole Hannah-Jones to Speak at the Hopkins Center

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“The 1619 Project” creator will be joined by students and faculty at the event.

Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of “The 1619 Project,” will hold a free public event at the Hopkins Center on April 15. (Photo courtesy of Nikole Hannah-Jones)

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of The 1619 Project, is coming to Dartmouth for a community event that will include contributions from Dartmouth artists, students, and faculty, and a question-and-answer session with the journalist. 

Free tickets for “An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project Today,” a live event scheduled for April 15 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the Hopkins Center website. The evening was moved to Spaulding Auditorium this week after all the seats in Moore Theater were claimed hours after the event was announced on March 20.

The 1619 Project, a reframing of U.S. history that centers on the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in colonial Virginia, was published in The New York Times Magazine in 2019.

“Prior to the release of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ NYT Magazine special edition, the date and significance of 1619 were not generally known. Today, 1619 is part of a public debate,” says Trica Keaton, associate professor of African and African American studies and sociology.

Hannah-Jones will discuss her project, its reception, and her new books, The 1619 Project: Born on the Water; and The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, an anthology of essays and poetry that expand on the original project.

“As an array of distinguished scholars in her new book make plain, the importance of 1619 resides in how it invites us to explore and question the inception narratives handed down about our country where the past is prologue in terms of having set a context for the present,” Keaton says.

“The enslavement of Africans and their descendants in the U.S. was not peripheral but central to the making and evolution of the United States. To know where we are going, as the expression goes, we have to know where we’ve been,” says Keaton, who was part of an interdisciplinary faculty effort to bring Hannah-Jones to Dartmouth that began in 2019 but was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled the Hopkins Center will host this important event, literally years in the making and now coming to fruition thanks to the dedicated work of scores of Dartmouth faculty and staff,” says Mary Lou Aleskie, Howard L. Gilman ’44 Director of the Hopkins Center. “It promises to be an extraordinary evening featuring words of welcome from President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, a musical performance by the Rockapellas, a poetry reading by 1619 contributor Vievee Francis, and of course in-depth discussion with Nikole Hannah-Jones.”

Francis, an associate professor in English and creative writing, will read her poem “Loving Me,” which appears in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story opposite the entry for 1682, “Virginia’s House of Burgesses makes interracial marriage punishable by imprisonment.”

Hannah-Jones will be introduced by Ella Bell Smith, a professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business whose research includes race, gender, and social class in organizations. Monica Ndounou, an associate professor in the Department of Theater, will moderate the question-and-answer session, and the evening will be emceed by Anthony Fosu ’24, a First-Year Fellow with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy.

Bill Platt