76 episodes

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.

Teaching Hard History Learning for Justice

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 499 Ratings

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.

    Why Hard History Matters: Addressing the Legacy of Jim Crow – w/ Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

    Why Hard History Matters: Addressing the Legacy of Jim Crow – w/ Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

    Congressman Hakeem Jeffries represents New York’s 8th congressional district. Our final episode this season takes us to the U.S. House of Representatives for a conversation between Rep. Jeffries and his brother, our host, Dr. Hasan Jeffries, to discuss the lingering effects of the Jim Crow era—including voter access, prison and policing reform and other enduring injustices—and to discuss the continued relevance of teaching “hard history” as it relates to public policy today.
    Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
    You can also receive professional development certificates when you listen to LFJ's other education podcasts—Queer America and The Mind Online! 
    And be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for additional classroom resources for teaching about the intersection of sports and race during the Jim Crow era.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Criminalizing Blackness: Prisons, Police and Jim Crow – w/ Robert T. Chase and Brandon T. Jett

    Criminalizing Blackness: Prisons, Police and Jim Crow – w/ Robert T. Chase and Brandon T. Jett

    After emancipation, aspects of the legal system were reshaped to maintain control of Black lives and labor. Historian Robert T. Chase outlines the evolution of convict leasing in the prison system. And Historian Brandon T. Jett explores the commercial factors behind the transition from extra-legal lynchings to police enforcement of the color line. We examine the connections between these early practices and the more familiar apparatuses of today’s justice system—from policing to penitentiaries. 
    Learning for Justice has great tools for teaching about criminal justice during Jim Crow and after, like this article “Teaching About Mass Incarceration: From Conversation to Civic Action”. 
    Here’s the song “Jody” that Dr. Chase describes using in the classroom (from Bruce Jackson’s Wake Up Dead Man). To learn how coerced labor evolves after Jim Crow, you can read his book, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners' Rights in Postwar America.
    Check out Lynching in LaBelle, an amazing digital history project that Dr. Jett created with his students. And to learn more about the evolution of policing, you can read his book, Race, Crime, and Policing in the Jim Crow South.
    For even more classroom resources about the history of convict leasing, policing and mass incarceration during the Jim Crow era, be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript.
    And educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.

    • 1 hr 49 min
    Music Reconstructed: Lara Downes’ Classical Perspective on Jim Crow – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    Music Reconstructed: Lara Downes’ Classical Perspective on Jim Crow – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    From concertos to operas, Black composers captured the changes and challenges facing African Americans during Jim Crow. Renowned classical pianist Laura Downes is bringing new appreciation to the works of artists like Florence Price and Scott Joplin. In our final installment of Music Reconstructed, Downes discusses how we can hear the complicated history of this era with historian Charles L. Hughes.
    And for helpful classroom resources, check out the enhanced full transcript of this episode.

    • 24 min
    Music Reconstructed: Adia Victoria and the Landscape of the Blues – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    Music Reconstructed: Adia Victoria and the Landscape of the Blues – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    When we consider the trauma of white supremacy during the Jim Crow era—what writer Ralph Ellison describes as “the brutal experience”—it’s important to understand the resilience and joy that sustained Black communities. We can experience that all through the “near-comic, near-tragic lyricism” of the blues. In part 3 of this series, acclaimed musician, songwriter and poet Adia Victoria shows how the bittersweet nature of blues does “the very emotionally mature work of acknowledging” this complex history.
    And for helpful classroom resources, check out the enhanced full transcript of this episode.

    • 16 min
    Black Political Thought – w/ Minkah Makalani

    Black Political Thought – w/ Minkah Makalani

    Black political ideologies in the early 20th century evolved against a backdrop of derogatory stereotypes and racial terrorism. Starting with Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Agency, historian Minkah Makalani contextualizes an era of Black intellectualism. From common goals of racial unity to fierce debates over methods, he shows how movements of the 1920s and 1930s fed into what became the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement. Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
    And be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for additional classroom resources for teaching about the intersection of sports and race during the Jim Crow era.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Music Reconstructed: Dom Flemons, Black Cowboys and the American West – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    Music Reconstructed: Dom Flemons, Black Cowboys and the American West – w/ Charles L. Hughes

    From ranches to railroads, learn about the often unrecognized role that African Americans played in the range cattle industry, as Pullman porters and in law enforcement. In part two of this special series, Grammy Award-winner Dom Flemons takes us on a musical exploration of the American West after emancipation. “The American Songster” joins historian Charles L. Hughes to discuss the complexity of his sounds, songs and stories about the Jim Crow era. 
    Dom Flemons shares even more songs in this 2020 online concert “Black Cowboy Songs and More from the American Songster” from the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. (He has been researching in their archives for over a decade. Your students can use their collections too!)
    Read Rolling Stone’s interview with Dom—‘Old Town Road’ and the History of Black Cowboys in America—about the growing interest in mainstream entertainment.
    Remember CDs and Vinyl? The physical copies of Black Cowboys from Smithsonian Folkways come with 40 pages of liner notes! They're full of photos and historical information (Want to see? Read to the end this article.)
    And for even more helpful classroom resources, check out the enhanced full transcript of this episode.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
499 Ratings

499 Ratings

annabelleOMG ,

Wonderful!

Wonderful information and “truth telling” in history. Much needed!

Daze no loaf ,

A gem for everyone

Get information that gets you too thinking. Definitely good to have a pen and paper for notes and secondary searches into the topics. Love the delivery!

GlennWatson ,

Let me save you some time

“White people bad.” There, now you can skip this podcast and spend your time more productively listening to the many fantastic history podcasts out there.

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