What we don’t know about American history hurts us all. Teaching Hard History begins with the long legacy of slavery and reaches through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the civil rights movement into the present day. Brought to you by Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) and hosted by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Dr. Bethany Jay, Teaching Hard History brings us the lessons we should have learned in school through the voices of scholars and educators. It’s great advice for teachers and good information for everybody.
Premeditation and Resilience: Tulsa, Red Summer and the Great Migration – w/ David Krugler
Naming the 1921 Tulsa massacre a “race riot” is inaccurate. Historian David Krugler urges listeners to call this and other violent attacks what they were: premeditated attempts at ethnic cleansing. Decades before, African Americans moved North in record numbers during the Great Migration. Krugler delves into connections between diaspora and violence and highlights the strength of Black communities in resistance to white supremacist terrorism.
Lynching: White Supremacy, Terrorism and Black Resilience – w/ Kidada Williams and Kellie Carter Jackson
Black American experiences during Jim Crow were deeply affected by the ever-present threat of lynching and other forms of racist violence. Historian Kidada Williams amplifies perspectives from Black families, telling stories of lynching victims obscured by white newspapers. She and Kellie Carter Jackson urge educators to confront the role of this violence in American history, how major institutions stood idly by, and how Black Americans fought for justice.
Correcting History: Confederate Monuments, Rituals and the Lost Cause – w/ Karen Cox
The Lost Cause narrative would have us believe that Confederate monuments have always been celebrated, but people have protested them since they started going up. Historian Karen Cox unpacks how the United Daughters of the Confederacy used propaganda to dominate generations of teachings about the Civil War through textbooks, legislation, and popular culture—and how, after the war, the South and the North prized white reconciliation over justice for all.
Reconstruction 101: Progress and Backlash – w/ Kate Masur
Just months after the Civil War ended, former Confederates had regained political footholds in Washington, D.C. In her overview of Reconstruction, Kate Masur notes how—in the face of evolving, post-slavery white supremacy—Black people claimed their citizenship and began building institutions of their own. Ahmad Ward then takes us to 1860s Mitchelville, South Carolina, where Black policing power, land ownership and more self-governance were the norm.
The History of Whiteness and How We Teach About Race – w/ Edward E. Baptist and Aisha White
Historian Ed Baptist provides context on the creation and enforcement of a U.S. racial binary that endures today, as well as Black resistance as a force for political change. And Aisha White urges educators to ask themselves, “What did you learn about race when you were younger?” before they engage with children. She argues that self-reflection and ongoing education are vital tools to combat the fallacy of ignoring students’ racialized experiences.
Creating Brave Spaces: Reckoning With Race in the Classroom – w/ Matthew R. Kay
People from all corners of public life are telling teachers to stop discussions about race and racism in the classroom, but keeping the truth of the world from students simply doesn’t work. English teacher Matthew Kay urges educators to create brave spaces instead. He provides examples of classroom strategies for engaging with students at the intersections of race, literature and lived experience. Hint: it involves vulnerability, accountability and quality affirmations.
Mind blowing show
The hosts on this show find stories that are little known and so critical to understand the history of America, and how it was built on the enslavement of Africans and Indigenous people. I'm a professor of anthropology in Canada and have been learning a tremendous amount. I have also found it insightful into thinking about teaching my students about race and ethnicity, across North American contexts. This show is invaluable.