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Author of the 1619 Project charged public library $40k for a  speech, causing it to go over-budget

Her controversial premise was that the founding of the United States was built around protecting the right to own slaves, a premise with which many historians have taken issue.

Published: October 30, 2022 8:53pm

Updated: October 30, 2022 9:02pm

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a former New York Times journalist, was paid $40,000 for a 45-minute speech at a high school in Arlington, Va., which is just a few miles from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she is a tenured professor.

Her speech was part of a three-hour program held by the Arlington Public Library, and it provided her an opportunity to promote her new book, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story," according to The Daily Wire.

The fee paid to Hannah-Jones created some tension between the Friends of the Library, which raises money to fund events such as this, and the library itself. It caused the library to exceed its budget by $7,500. She also added a clause to the agreement that there would be no recording of her speech, with a $100,000 penalty if that were to be violated.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is best known for her controversial 1619 Project, which was a long-form journalism project that first appeared in the New York Times Magazine in August of 2019, intended to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves in what was then the English colony of Virginia.

Her controversial premise was that the founding of the United States was built around protecting the right to own slaves, a premise with which many historians have taken issue.

Michael Chamberlain,of the government watchdog group Protect the Public's Trust, told The Daily Wire that Hannah-Jones fee was a very high for a local library.

"The $40,000 they paid to one particular speaker, which put the program over budget, is an eye-popping amount for a local library to spend on such a controversial figure," Chamberlain told the Daily Wire.

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