‘Look Us in the Eye’
Photo: Rachel Jessen
Jack Stripling, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The official accounting will record the vote as 9 in favor and 4 against, but that won’t begin to tell the story of what happened this week when the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted to award tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The politics surrounding Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and lead author of The New York Times Magazine‘s politically charged “1619 Project,” make her tenure case about much more than procedure. Students, professors, alumni, and community members have come to see this drawn-out tenure approval process as emblematic of a polarized national moment in which race is inescapably central.