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Silence is Not an Option

This season of Silence is Not an Option is all about fearless individuals who stand up for what’s right — even when it means breaking the rules. Host Don Lemon will share stories about Harry Belafonte, Eartha Kitt, and others who used their fame to speak out against injustice. Don will also highlight the stories of change-makers who deserve greater recognition, like Claudette Colvin and Bayard Rustin. So, come meet the rabble-rousers and truth-tellers who put everything on the line when silence is not an option.

A crowd of protestors holds up signs, fists and a megaphone

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The Axe Files: Nikole Hannah-Jones
Silence is Not an Option
Dec 31, 2020

When Nikole Hannah-Jones was a high school student at a predominantly white school in Waterloo, Iowa, she complained to a teacher that the school newspaper wasn’t covering stories that mattered to Black students. He told her she had two options: stop complaining or start writing for the paper and telling her own stories. She joined the paper, launching what became a celebrated career writing for publications like ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine. Nikole is well known for her reporting on segregation and racial inequities in education but recently won a Pulitzer Prize for The 1619 Project, which traces the legacy of slavery throughout American history. She joined Axe Files host David Axelrod to talk about what it was like growing up in working-class Iowa, how she finds motivation in being underestimated, and the inspiration and creation of The 1619 Project.

Originally released: September, 2020