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Why Do Black People Feel "Erased" From American History? | GZERO World

Growing up, New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones only learned a little about the plight of Black people in America during Black History Month. The Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project studied some usual suspects such as Harriet Tubman or Frederick Douglass, and then discussed slavery to cover the Civil War.

But then Black people like herself, she says, vanish from the narrative until the civil rights movement.

“There was no really larger understanding of how Black Americans fit into the larger story of America. And there certainly wasn't the teaching of Black people as actors in the American story."


For Hannah-Jones, this explains why white Americans don't know what it means "to be erased" from US history as well as broader American culture and literature.

"That erasure is really demeaning, and it's really powerful.”

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Counter narrative: Black Americans, the 1619 Project, and Nikole Hannah-Jones

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Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

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Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

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