Media mogul Oprah Winfrey and 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones have partnered to develop Hannah-Jones’ "The 1619 Project," a definitive examination of slavery in America and how it shaped society as we know it. The project, in collaboration with the NYT podcast, "1619," will evolve into "an expansive portfolio of films, television series and documentaries, unscripted programming and other forms of entertainment," Deadline reports.
Launched in August of 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies, "The 1619 Project" is an ongoing series that connects the centrality of slavery in history with an unflinching account of the brutal racism that endures in so many aspects of American life today. With contributions from Black authors, essayists, poets, playwrights, and scholars, the project examines the legacy of slavery in America and how it shaped all aspects of society, from music and law to education and the arts, including the principles of our democracy itself.
In a statement obtained by Deadline, Hannah-Jones lauded Winfrey and their group of producing partners. "We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of "The 1619 Project," that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories," she said in the statement. "Through every step of the process, Lionsgate and its leadership have shown themselves to be that partner and it is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer and beacon to so many Black journalists. I am excited for this opportunity to extend the breadth and reach of The 1619 Project and to introduce these stories of Black resistance and resilience to even more American households.”
Winfrey also released a statement about the upcoming project, saying, “From the first moment I read "The 1619 Project" and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis,” she said. “I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience.”