UNC journalism dean asked ABC News director to 'protect' Nikole Hannah-Jones during tenure fight

Hannah-Jones went on to accept a tenured position at Washington, D.C.'s historically black school, Howard University

Updated: August 2, 2021 - 9:57am

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As controversy swirled over the attempt to bring 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the school's dean of Journalism and media requested of the ABC News deputy political director that she "protect' Hannah-Jones.

Fox News obtained a number of emails pertaining to the springtime discussion of Hannah-Jones's tenure, in which ABC Deputy Political Director Averi Harper emailed Susan King – the school's Journalism and Media dean – to ask why the NYT journalist had not been granted tenure.

"She deserves tenure. Her package is perhaps the best I've ever seen. Protect Nikole. She deserves it and I'm doing all I can to make this right. We really want her here," wrote King in an exchange with Harper.

Harper several years ago earned a bachelor's degree from UNC's Journalism and Media school, according to her LinkedIn page. 

Hannah-hones won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her role in the New York Times published 1619 Project, which aimed "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."

Though the project was widely panned on the political right, including by some historians, many voices on the left praised the work and its author, working hard to incorporate the essays into classrooms across the country.

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