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The 1619 Project: One Stream Away

Alana Matthew | 101 Magazine Nikole Hannah-Jones in an episode of The 1619 Project on Hulu. Captured by Patti Perret for Hulu. 

On Jan. 26 the 1619 Project docuseries came to the Hulu streaming platform. The six-part docu-series expands on “The 1619 Project” created by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Howard University professor Nikole Hannah-Jones for the New York Times. 

Anticipation ran high for this project to be released especially on the campus of Howard University where Hannah-Jones has been educating for the past year. 

The editorial and docuseries alike aim to re-examine and reframe the history of the United States by placing the consequences of slavery and the impact of Black Americans have had on building the foundation of the nation. 

Throughout Hannah Jones’s time at Howard University, she taught The 1619 Project course in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, which brought this famous editorial to many students within the Howard University community. However, the popularity of the course doesn’t allow for every single person to take the course during their time at the University.

The partnership between Nikole Hannah-Jones and Hulu allows for access to the information in an in-depth visual format. For many students, such as Nyla Walker, who haven’t had the opportunity to take the course on Howard University’s campus, this format of the project has been very informative and interesting for them. 

“I tried to get into the class before, but it filled up very quickly,” Nyla Walker said, “When I heard the series was coming to Hulu, I was really excited to be able to get a piece of what the course would cover and a more in-depth understanding of what I read.”

Meanwhile, students such as Tia Robinson, a senior at Howard University, who took the course in the spring semester of 2021, were excited to see how she could learn even more since taking the course. 

“Watching the premiere episodes was very surreal for me. I feel like every time I read the book I learn something new, but watching the first episode really made everything come to life for me.” 

The strides Hannah-Jones is making in reframing the history of America have not gone unnoticed by viewers as well. Robinson notes that she is appreciative of the project’s evolution from print to the big screen. 

“It’s so amazing to see the impact that she [Nikole Hannah-Jones] is making. She has made such an amazing impact as a journalist just by being persistent in telling the stories of our ancestors and continuing to make it accessible to everyone.” Robinson states. 

With many recent push-backs on educating the masses about Black history in America, Hannah-Jones continues to break down barriers between those who do and don’t have access to the true history of American culture. In the third semester of the 1619 Project course being offered at Howard University students taking the course have the opportunity to read and watch more of the project throughout the semester. Kiara Patterson, a senior at Howard, is currently in The 1619 Project course with Professor Hannah-Jones and shares her feelings on both the course and the docuseries. 

“I’ve only seen the first episode, and having her in class really is congruent with how she teaches,” Patterson states. “I like that this docu-series is more of a confirmation that we are the most American of all by our virtue of bondage with slavery.”  

While the first four episodes of the docuseries have been added to Hulu just in time for the start of Black History Month, many can stay tuned for the final two episodes which are intended to be released on Hulu on Feb. 8, which gives everyone plenty of time to catch up, get informed, and form your own opinions on the docuseries.

Evin Guilford

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