1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones falsely claimed Civil War began in 1865

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New York Times Magazine reporter and 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones falsely claimed this week that the Civil War – which began in April 1861 and resulted in an end to slavery in America – began in 1865, the year the war actually concluded.

Nikole Hannah-Jones poses for a portrait before taking the stage to discuss her new book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, on Nov. 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“We did not stop the expansion of slavery, and enslavers dominated the presidency, Senate and Supreme Court until 1865, when the North was reluctantly drawn into a war that ultimately ended slavery,” Hannah-Jones wrote in a series of comments shared to Twitter discussing the end of slavery in America.

After being called out for the mistake, Hannah-Jones, who was named to TIME‘s list of the “100 most influential people” in 2021, claimed her message was “poorly worded” and placed doubt on whether anyone would believe she did not know “when the Civil War started.”

“It was poorly worded, I meant until 1865 ended the war, which the North had been reluctantly drawn into,” Hannah-Jones stated in a tweet. “I realized people want to catch me up. I doubt anyone believes I do not know when the Civil War started. But, it is what it is.”

Last week, Hannah-Jones stated the American people will not “willfully” work to confront the “anti-Blackness” in society, said that they have been “taught the history of a country that does not exist,” and suggested there must be a “serious examination” after mainstream journalists “got caught up in the Republican propaganda campaign” to discredit the 1619 Project.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones signs books for her supporters on Nov. 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“We’ve been taught the history of a country that does not exist,” Hannah-Jones claimed during an interview with the Associated Press. “We’ve been taught the history of a country that renders us incapable of understanding how we get an insurrection in the greatest democracy on Jan. 6.”

Nicole Hannah-Jones attends 2019 ROOT 100 Gala at The Angel Orensanz Foundation on November 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes)
(Getty Images)

The New York Times’ 1619 Project is a long-form collaboration that seeks to “reframe the country’s history” by bringing slavery and racism to the forefront of the national narrative. It was led by Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary last year for the project.

Among other recent criticisms, Hannah-Jones faced scrutiny last month after she said she “doesn’t understand” why parents should have a say in their kids’ education. Hannah-Jones also recently claimed not to be a professional educator, despite holding a tenured post at Howard University.

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