1619 Project Writer Demanded $40K For 45-Minute Speech, Busting Library’s Budget

1619 Project Writer Demanded $40K For 45-Minute Speech, Busting Library’s Budget

  • October 27, 2022

Luke Rosiak, Daily Wire

The 1619 Project writer who has made an opulent living highlighting racial inequality in schools was paid $40,000 to give a speech at a high school just minutes away from the campus of her new employer, according to materials obtained by The Daily Wire.

Former New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones was paid the sum to give a 45-minute talk Sept. 20 as part of a three-hour event at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Virginia. That’s only eight miles from Howard University, where she became a tenured professor with the help of $20 million in donations from the MacArthur, Knight, and Ford foundations. Including travel time, that fee amounts to approximately $10,000 an hour.

The speech was also an opportunity for Hannah-Jones to sell her book, even as the event implied that it was “banned.”

While held at a public high school, the talk was a program of the Arlington Public Library, and the cost was so enormous that it spurred tension between the library and the Friends of Arlington Library, a nonprofit that raises money to fund library activities including author events.

Michael Chamberlain, director of the government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust, told The Daily Wire the fee Hannah-Jones pocketed I unusually high for a local library to pay.

“The $40,000 they paid to one particular speaker, which put the program over budget, is an eye-popping amount for a local library to spend on such a controversial figure,” Chamberlain said. “Only Arlington residents can determine the wisdom of this decision, but transparency is a necessary first step for them to make that determination.”

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