A crowd of protesters gathered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Thursday in a solidarity protest over the tenure denial of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The group was organized by the Chapel Hill – Carrboro NAACP chapter along with the Carolina Black Caucus. Demonstrators including students, faculty and community members, gathered prior to the Board of Trustee’s meeting with signs of support which read, “1619…2021 Same Struggle,” and “I can give you 1,169 reasons why Hannah-Jones should be tenured.”
Much of the misogynoir aimed at Hannah-Jones stems from her riveting investigative work, The 1619 Project, which delved further into the origins of America’s dark foundation, chattel slavery. Earlier this week it was announced that the UNC Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees made the decision to deny Hannah-Jones tenure as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism for the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, a historically tenured position.
Hannah-Jones’ position will begin on July 1 and will instead serve five years as Professor of the Practice, with an option to be reviewed for tenure at the end of her contract.
According to NC Policy Watch, which first reported the board’s decision, Hannah-Jones began the rigorous tenure application process last summer and was supported by current faculty and the tenure committee. The process became muddled once it was submitted to the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.
Her supporters claim the board succumbed to pressures from conservative critics who have denounced her work, pulling from opposition bullet points which began in 2019, the same year as the report’s publication.
In response, university leaders told the Associated Press that the process was paused because Hannah-Jones didn’t come from a “traditional academic-type background.”
Hannah-Jones attended the University of Notre Dame for her bachelor’s degree and obtained her master’s from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. In 2017 she received a MacArthur Fellowship and won the Pulitzer in 2020. She has almost 20 years of professional experience in journalism, beginning her career in the education beat at the Raleigh News & Observer.
Support for Hannah-Jones continues to mount within the community, the institution and abroad as journalism professors across the country banned together in writing a letter of support, calling for the Board’s reconsideration.
“As reported by NC Policy Watch, the board’s decision is an attack on academic freedom as well as journalistic integrity,” the letter, posted on Medium, states. “It is an act of blatant partisanship and racism in the academy. It undermines the authority of the Hussman School dean and faculty and of the University chancellor. It is a personal attack on a journalist we, as journalists and journalism academics ourselves, hold in the highest esteem. It is an act of political cowardice.”
On Thursday Hannah-Jones broke her silence regarding the controversy, tweeting, “I have been overwhelmed by all the support you all have shown me. It has truly fortified my spirit and my resolve. You all know that I will OK. But this fight is bigger than me, and I will try my best to not let you down.”
'Karens' Gone Wild: Videos Show Privileged White Women Can't Stop Trying To Police Black People
1. Tigger flag Karen
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Nosy woman complains about a flag pic.twitter.com/srQk12YmW9— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 9, 2021
2. Victoria's Secret Karen
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Karen charges at a black woman and then turns on white woman tears when she realizes she’s being recorded. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/9gzksgorLN— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) July 12, 2021
3. Mailbox Karen
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I wish a Karen would roll up and call herself taking a package from my house because she suspects “something is going on in there.”— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 7, 2021
What is wrong with these white women? pic.twitter.com/ROX3zLPcTY
4. Karen goes shopping at Ross
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This happened at a Ross Dress for Less…— Your cousin’s friend (@michaelharriot) June 13, 2021
Told you. pic.twitter.com/FkSLsgxPUc
5. Karen Defaces Monument To Only Black Member Of Lewis And Clark Expedition5 of 33
6. Judith Ann Black, racist Burger King Whopper KarenSource:Sumter County Sheriff’s Office 6 of 33
7. Stephanie Denaro, AKA "Bagel Karen"
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RACIST Anti-Masker Karen Calls Black Bakery worker B**** Ass N-word for denying service. pic.twitter.com/nRsF95RFmK— Karen (@crazykarens) March 24, 2021
8. Courtside Karen
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PRAY FOR LEBRON pic.twitter.com/Z8oAhl2kqf— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 2, 2021
9. Arlo SoHo Karen
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Wow! This woman made baseless claims against @keyonharrold and his 14yo son at @arlohotels Arlo SoHo — then assaulted them, scratching Keyon & tackling his boy. Worse, the hotel manager defended & empowered her actions, and refused to apologize after her claims were proven wrong! pic.twitter.com/LqHboiAEd6— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 27, 2020
10. Trader Joe's 'Karen'
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This is a Trader Joe’s today. In Los Angeles. Cases are through the roof in California. Is there any way to reach these people?— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) June 27, 2020
11. 'Karen' the angry neighbor
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hey guys!! this is my new neighbor!! pic.twitter.com/yZxsQD1daS— bailey (@bailey3jenkins) June 27, 2020
12. ‘Karen’ Pulls Gun On Black Woman And Daughter After Chipotle Argument12 of 33
13. Nurse ‘Karen’ Fired
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Caron Jones — that’s Caron with a “K” as in “Karen” 👩🏼⚕️ — also called the Black Lives Matter movement a "ploy" for Black votes before the North Carolina nurse got fired for her racist social media posts.https://t.co/WQn68gNToF— NewsOne (@newsone) July 1, 2020
14. St. Louis 'Karen'14 of 33
15. ‘Karen’s Husband’ Investigated After Calling Cops On Black Men15 of 33
16. Convenience Store ‘Karen’
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It was the I’m the wrong nigga for me 😭 pic.twitter.com/2Rv33NNn2k— HEAVYY ON IT 🗣💕 (@HeavyyCampp) June 25, 2020
17. Nurse ‘Karen’ Loses Her Job For ‘Black Privilege’ Video17 of 33
18. Seattle ‘Karen’ Has A Total Meltdown After Black Driver Records Her ‘White Tears’
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"I HAVE A BLACK HUSBAND!"— NewsOne (@newsone) June 23, 2020
A "Karen" in Seattle identified as Leah completely lost it when Karlos Dillard, a Black man, confronted and recorded her after he says he was the victim of her racist road rage.
The video has gone viral as Karening gets worse.https://t.co/X5ryYpQlhF
19. Officer ‘Karen’ Is Slammed For Crying White Tears Over McDonald’s Wait19 of 33
20. Kroger ‘Karen’ Blocks Black Mother From Pulling Out Of Parking Lot Over ‘Gatorade’20 of 33
21. San Francisco ‘Karen’ Who Called Cops Over ‘BLM’ Art
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A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— James Juanillo (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
22. Karen the "Shorewood Spitter"22 of 33
23. Karen's husband
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24. Karen's other husband24 of 33
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Racism rots your brain pic.twitter.com/OuzPmyRN6d— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
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On the next episode of “are white people ok? 👀”.... meet Red Lobster Karen 🦞 pic.twitter.com/ElgRipPyrU— Lives in a Police State. ✊🏽🦺🌈 (@angel_felixv) May 13, 2020
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I can’t believe this is real. This lady went out to video shame everyone who dared to have fun in the sun at the beach and then she yelled at a Trader Joe’s worker over social distancing.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 18, 2020
Karen needs to just stay home and leave the rest of us alone... 🙄🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/QUeZkRSudW
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K*ren: "Arrest me"— Scottie PIPM (@scottiepipm) April 23, 2020
K*ren: 😲 pic.twitter.com/5NJnPsSj8k
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I’m baffled. Just saw this on the news. Woman who drove 1.5 hours to go to the beach with her family complains about other people at the beach who have done the same as her. Does she not see she’s part of the problem #StayAtHomeSaveLives #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/iowllyZEk2— Colm McAfee (@mcafee77) May 17, 2020
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