Where there’s smoke there’s fire and that’s the case when it comes to Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure snub at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The New York Times writer behind “The 1619 Project” recently shared her intentions to sue the school after learning her Knights Chair position in the school of journalism didn’t include the tenure that typically comes with the position. Now following her lawsuit announcement, it’s been revealed why the school possibly declined the offer.
According to HuffPost, Walter Hussman donated $25 million to the school to get a building named after him. The school’s top donor also fiercely opposed her hiring due to his criticism over “The 1619 Project.” The alumnus reached out to at least one Board of Trustees member, a few senior administrators, and at least one other donor to express his opposition to Hannah-Jones coming on board, The Assembly reported.
“I worry about the controversy of tying the UNC journalism school to the 1619 project,” Hussman allegedly wrote in a December email to the school dean, Susan King. “I find myself more in agreement with Pulitzer prize-winning historians like James McPherson and Gordon Wood than I do Nikole Hannah-Jones.”
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher also accused Hannah-Jones of pushing an “agenda” through “The 1619 Project.”
“These historians appear to me to be pushing to find the true historical facts,” he continued. “Based on her own words, many will conclude she is trying to push an agenda, and they will assume she is manipulating historical facts to support it. If asked about it, I will have to be honest in saying I agree with the historians.”
“The 1619 Project” has been under attack by conservatives who take issue with it presenting slavery at the center of American history. During Donald Trump’s final days in office, he threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that taught the curriculum.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently spoke out against “The 1619 Project’ demanding for its removal from federal grant programs. Hannah-Jones has linked up with a legal team in her fight for tenure at UNC-Chapel Hill.