SiriusXM Urban View Host, Karen Hunter sat down for a town hall discussion with OneUnited Bank President and Owner Teri Williams; New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the Times’ The 1619 Project; and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee before an audience at SiriusXM studios headquarters in New York.
The panels topics of discussion consisted of race in America, including the wealth gap between African-Americans and Caucasians, The New York Times’ 1619 Project, a powerful initiative that explores the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and its ongoing impact on our society.
New York Times journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones discussed how African-Americans are not seen as “fully human”: “I spent a lot of time on my essay talking about the psychology that has to develop that allows a country that says it’s based on the individual rights and God given freedoms of man while also holding one fifth of the population at absolute bondage. You have to develop a certain psychology, and the psychology is black people are not fully human, so we’re not actually hypocritical because these rights are for full humans, and citizens and black people are not. Once that psychology develops, once you use it to justify slavery, when that person is no longer enslaved, you can’t now say you are fully human and a full citizen just like I am because then it gives lie to the whole basis of slavery, which is you’re not human. So you have to keep denying that persons full and that races full humanity to justify it and reinforcing it.”
Teri Williams explains the importance of the 1619 project: “It tells the truth about our history, about our money, about the wealth gap and why we are where we are today. Because we’re led to believe that we don’t have wealth because of something we’ve done. Like, Nikole said, that we just need to work harder or that we spend too much or we spend money on the wrong things and we have bought in to that…and because of that, we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t do business with ourselves, we don’t bank with ourselves, but every other ethnicity doesn’t have that burden. They’re not carrying that negativity with them. They actually see the need to do business with themselves in order to build their community.”
Video clips are below and photos are attached (photo credit: Maro Hagopian for SiriusXM). If used, please credit SiriusXM’s The Karen Hunter Show (weekdays from 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126).
“Black People Are Not Seen As Fully Human”
Why Nikole Hannah-Jones Almost Quit Journalism
Teri Williams on Owning a Black Bank