Many people today still think US slavery was only prevalent in the South. They are wrong, says Nikole Hannah-Jones. All 13 colonies had slaves upon America's independence.
It's not just that the Founding Fathers were slave-owners, which we all know. Slave labor, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist points out, powered the US Industrial Revolution by producing cheap cotton for textiles.
"We've kind of tried to section slavery off as if it was just in the realm of the backwards South, but this wasn't American endeavor and our nascent capitalism, [which] was really built on the institution of slavery."
In her view and that of the 1619 Project she created, slavery is central to the American story because it wasn't accidental at all.
"We did not need slavery to be successful, but we chose slavery. And that led to our success in many ways."
Watch this clip from her interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
Watch the full episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Counter narrative: Black Americans, the 1619 Project, and Nikole Hannah-Jones