In 2019, around the original launch of the 1619 Project, Hannah-Jones identified Cuba as a model for racial equality. The 1619 Project claims to unearth systemic racism in the United States, and the original version claimed that the “true founding” of America came not with the Declaration of Independence in 1776 but with the arrival of the first slaves in Virginia in 1619 (the first slaves actually arrived far earlier). In an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Hannah-Jones suggested the U.S. should follow Cuba in fighting racism.
“Are there candidates right now — or even just places — that you think have a viable and sufficiently ambitious integration agenda, and if so, what is it?” Klein asked Hannah-Jones on his podcast, recently unearthed by The National Pulse.
“I’m definitely not an expert on race relations internationally,” Hannah-Jones began. She also admitted that “it’s also hard to look at countries that didn’t have large institutions of slavery and compare them to the United States.”
“If you want to see the most equal multi-racial democ… — it’s not a democracy — the most equal multi-racial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba,” Hannah-Jones said.