Nikole Hannah-Jones

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Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards for This American LIfe's The Case for School Desegregation Today (cropped).jpg
Nikole Hannah-Jones at the 2016 Peabody Awards
Nikole Sheri Hannah

(1976-04-09) April 9, 1976 (age 43)
Other namesNikole Hannah
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
UNC Chapel Hill
Years active2003-present
Known forInvestigative journalism
Spouse(s)Faraji Hannah-Jones
AwardsMacArthur Genius Grant

Nikole Hannah-Jones (born April 9, 1976)[1][2] is an American investigative journalist[3] known for her coverage of civil rights in the United States. In April 2015, she became a staff writer for The New York Times.[4]

Early life[edit]

Hannah-Jones grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, to father Milton Hannah, who is African-American, and mother Cheryl A. Novotny, who is of Czech and English descent.[5] She is the second of three sisters.[6] In 1947, when her father was two years old, his family moved to Iowa from Greenwood, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, along with many other African-American families.[7]

Hannah-Jones and her sister attended almost all-white schools as part of a voluntary program of desegregation busing.[8] She wrote for the high school newspaper and graduated from West High School in 1994.[9]

Hannah-Jones has a bachelor's degree in History and African-American Studies from University of Notre Dame, which she received in 1998. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a master's degree in 2003, where she was a Roy H. Park Fellow.[10][11]


In 2003, Hannah-Jones began her writing career working covering the education beat, which included the predominantly African American Durham Public Schools, for the Raleigh News & Observer, a position she held for three years.[8]

In 2006, Hannah-Jones moved to Portland, Oregon, where she wrote for The Oregonian for six years. During this time she covered an enterprise assignment that included feature work, then the demographics beat, and then the government & census beats.[5]

In 2007, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Watts Riots, Hannah-Jones wrote about its impact on the community for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission.[12]

From 2008 to 2009, Hannah-Jones received a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies which enabled her to travel to Cuba to study universal healthcare and Cuba's educational system under Raul Castro.[13][14]

In 2011, she joined the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, which is based in New York City, where she covered civil rights and continued research she started in Oregon on redlining and in-depth investigative reporting on the lack of enforcement of the Fair Housing Act for minorities.[3] Hannah-Jones also spent time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the passing of Brown v. Board of Education had little effect.[15]

Hannah-Jones with attendees after giving a talk in Rochester, New York

In 2015, she became a staff reporter for The New York Times.[4]

Hannah-Jones is recognized as an authority on topics such as racial segregation, desegregation and resegregation in American schools[16][17] and housing discrimination, and has spoken about these issues on national public radio broadcasts.[18][19]

She writes to discover and expose the systemic and institutional racism perpetuated by official laws and acts.[20]

Her stories have been quoted in numerous other publications as being particularly important regarding race relations.[21] Hannah-Jones reported on the school district where teenager Michael Brown had been shot, one of the "most segregated, impoverished districts in the entire state" of Missouri.[22][23] Reviewer Laura Moser of Slate magazine praised her report on school resegregation, which showed how educational inequality may have been a factor in the unfortunate death of Brown.[24]

Hannah-Jones is a 2017 Emerson Fellow at the New America Foundation,[25] where she is working on a book on school segregation.[26] The book, The Problem We All Live With, is due out in June 2020 from Chris Jackson's One World imprint at Random House.[27]

Hannah-Jones is a 2017 award winner of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award."[28]

Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting[edit]

In early 2015, Nikole Hannah-Jones, along with Ron Nixon, Corey Johnson, and Topher Sanders, began dreaming of creating the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.[29] This organization was launched in Memphis, Tennessee in 2016, with the purpose of promoting investigative journalism, which is the least common type of reporting.[29] Following in the footsteps of Ida B. Wells, this society encourages minority journalists to expose injustices perpetuated by the government and defend people who are susceptible to being taken advantage of.[29] This organization was created with much support from the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Hannah-Jones lives in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn with her husband, Faraji Hannah-Jones, and their daughter.[30]



  • Hannah-Jones, Nikole (2012). Living Apart How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law. New York: ProPublica. ISBN 978-1-453-25444-8. OCLC 825553231.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deutch, Gabrielle (April 2, 2018). "Writer Hannah-Jones discusses black education, desegregation, and privilege". YaleNews. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (April 9, 2019). "It's my birthday today and I really want you to celebrate with me by watching this amazing documentary on Reconstruction that I had the honor of taking part in. And, yes, I was born on the anniversary of the end of the Civil War. I mean, of course". Twitter. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Us: Nikole Hannah-Jones". ProPublica. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Silverstein, Jake (April 1, 2015). "Nikole Hannah-Jones Joins The New York Times Magazine". The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Rede, George (January 17, 2009). "Two faces of the black American experience". The Oregonian. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "Life Legacy: Milton Hannah". Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (July 8, 2014). "Ghosts of Greenwood". ProPublica. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Glass, Ira; Hannah-Jones, Nikole (July 31, 2015). "562: The Problem We All Live With". This American Life. WBEZ. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "About". Nikole Hannah-Jones. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  10. ^ McCoy, Nilagia (October 15, 2015). "Investigating racial injustice with Nikole Hannah-Jones". Journalist's Resource. Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (October 15, 2015). "Investigating Racial Injustice". Shorenstein Center. Harvard University. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  12. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (Spring 2008). "Part Three: Los Angeles/Watts - In 1965, Watts burned – and the people cheered" (PDF). Kerner Plus 40 Report. University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication and Center for Africana Studies & the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies at North Carolina A&T State University. pp. 28–32. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (2009). "Stories Inside the Black-White Achievement Gap. Part 1: What it is and why it persists: Closing the achievement gap: A matter of national survival". Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (2009). "Stories Inside the Black-White Achievement Gap. Part 3: Cuba: How all children learn in a mostly-black land: Cuban School Officials Put Premium On Health Of Students". Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  15. ^ Shaikh, Nermeen; Goodman, Amy; Hannah-Jones, Nikole (April 23, 2014). "Jim Crow in the Classroom: New Report Finds Segregation Lives on in U.S. Schools". Democracy Now. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  16. ^ Oputu, Edirin (May 2, 2014). "A laurel to ProPublica: A superlative investigative piece examines the resegregation of America's schools". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (February 27, 2015). "Gentrification doesn't fix inner-city schools". Grist. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  18. ^ Demby, Gene (December 2, 2013). "A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten". NPR. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  19. ^ Howard, Marcus E. (August 8, 2015). "Minnesota's achievement gap debated at NABJ conference". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  20. ^ Silverstein, Jake (October 13, 2017). "A Chat With MacArthur Genius Nikole Hannah-Jones". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  21. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (November 5, 2015). "'Apostrophes': Nikole Hannah-Jones on Race, Education and Inequality, at Longreads Story Night". Longreads Story Night. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  22. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (August 12, 2014). "How the Media Missed the Mark in Coverage of Michael Brown's Killing". Essence. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  23. ^ Brown, Jeffrey; Hannah-Jones, Nikole; Cashin, Sheryll (August 11, 2015). "Why school districts like Michael Brown's have suffered 'rapid resegregation'". PBS. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  24. ^ Moser, Laura (August 4, 2015). "There's Another Racist Tragedy in St. Louis That Nobody Talks About". Slate. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "Previous Classes". New America. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  26. ^ "Nikole Hannah-Jones". New America. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  27. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole. The Problem We All Live with. One World. ISBN 9780399180569.
  28. ^ a b "Washington Post, October 11, 2017".
  29. ^ a b c d "Our Creation Story – IDA B. Wells Society". Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  30. ^ Hannah-Jones, Nikole (March 2015). "A Letter From Black America: Yes, we fear the police. Here's why". Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  31. ^ "This American Life Wins December Sidney for Shining a Light on Racial Profiling in the Housing Market". The Sidney Hillman Foundation. December 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  32. ^ "Tobenkin Award: Past Winners - 2013". Columbia University. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  33. ^ Turner, Aprill (April 23, 2015). "Nikole Hannah-Jones Named NABJ 2015 Journalist of the Year". National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  34. ^ Prince, Richard (August 10, 2015). "NABJ "Journalist of Year" Says to Tell Blacks' Stories". Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  35. ^ Walsh, Mark (April 21, 2015). "ProPublica Report on Resegregation Takes Top Education Writers' Award". Education Week. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  36. ^ "61. Nikole Hannah-Jones". The Root. 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  37. ^ Barron, James (February 14, 2016). "New York Times Journalists Among Winners of 2015 Polk Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  38. ^ "2017 National Magazine Awards | ASME". Retrieved August 18, 2019.

External links[edit]