UNC journalism dean asked ABC News to 'protect' 1619 Project's Nikole Hannah-Jones, emails show

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Amid the controversy to bring in 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones as a tenured professor to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the school’s Journalism and Media Dean requested that ABC News’ Deputy Political Director “protect” Hannah-Jones. 

Their correspondence was among a batch of emails obtained by Fox News in connection with the ongoing saga in the spring. 

FILE: Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. 

FILE: Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. 
(AP)

ABC Deputy Political Director Averi Harper emailed UNC Journalism and Media Dean Susan King in May, to ask why Hannah-Jones hadn’t been granted tenure. 

“She deserves tenure. Her package is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen,” King wrote to Harper, adding: “Protect Nikole. She deserves it and I’m doing all I can to make this right. We really want her here.” 

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Though UNC’s Board of Trustees eventually voted to grant Hannah-Jones tenure, she turned them down, choosing instead to work for Howard University, a historically Black University in Washington, D.C.

The email thread was first reported on by Campus Reform. 

Fox News has reached out to both Harper and King but did not hear back before publication. 

Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her commentary in the 1619 Project, which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” The project was praised by many on the left, while others, including some historians, criticized the work over alleged inaccuracies. 

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Five academic historians, for example, signed a letter claiming the 1619 Project got several elements of history wrong, including a claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery. 

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report

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