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Nikole Hannah-Jones on her new book and how racism is taught across the country

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Nikole Hannah-Jones, Iowa native, creator of the landmark "The 1619 Project" for the New York Times and author of the book "The 1619 Project." In the conversation, Hannah-Jones tells us what she thinks of Iowa’s new state law restricting how racism in U.S. history is taught. She also talks about her upcoming event: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones in Waterloo, Iowa on Tuesday, November 23 at Waterloo West High School.

Later in the program, Linh Ta of Axios Des Moines describes the controversy over Black Lives Matter signs in schools and Iowa Public Radio's Grant Gerlock explains the new contract between UAW and John Deere. Also, we meet IPR's new western Iowa reporter Kendall Crawford and writer Salha Obaid of the United Arab Emirates, who is a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. Then, Tony Dehner grooves us into the weekend before Thanksgiving.


  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, author, "The 1619 Project"
  • Linh Ta, reporter, Axios Des Moines
  • Grant Gerlock, reporter, Iowa Public Radio
  • Kendall Crawford, reporter, Iowa Public Radio
  • Salha Obaid, writer, International Writing Program, University of Iowa
  • Tony Dehner, host, Studio One, Iowa Public Radio
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa