What we don’t know about American history hurts us all. Teaching Hard History begins with the long legacy of slavery and reaches through the civil rights movement to the present day. Brought to you by Teaching Tolerance and hosted by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Teaching Hard History brings us the lessons we should have learned in school through the voices of scholars and educators. It’s good advice for teachers and good information for everybody.
Connecting Slavery with the Civil Rights Movement
To fully understand the United States today, we have to comprehend the central role that slavery played in our nation’s past. That legacy is also the foundation for understanding the civil rights movement and its place within the history of the Black freedom struggle. This episode is a special look back at our first season. It explores and expands on the 10 key concepts that ground Teaching Tolerance’s K-12 frameworks for teaching the hard history of American slavery.
Teaching the Movement’s Most Iconic Figure – w/ Charles McKinney
You cannot teach the civil rights movement without talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But it’s critical that students deconstruct the mythology surrounding the movement’s most iconic figure to learn about the man, not just the hero. The real Dr. King held beliefs that evolved over time. A complex man, he was part of a much larger movement—one that shaped him as much as he shaped it.
The Jim Crow North – w/ Patrick D. Jones
The Civil Rights Movement was never strictly a Southern phenomenon. To better understand the Jim Crow North, we explore discrimination and Black protest in places like Milwaukee, Omaha, Cleveland and New York. To examine the Black Freedom Movement beyond the South, we examine the Black-led fights to gain access to decent housing, secure quality education and end police brutality in these cities.
Nonviolence and Self-Defense – w/ Wesley Hogan, Christopher Strain and Akinyele Umoja
Armed resistance and nonviolent direct action co-existed throughout the civil rights era. In this episode, three historians confront some comfortable assumptions about nonviolence and self-defense. Wesley Hogan examines the evolution, value and limitations of nonviolence in the movement. Christopher Strain offers a three-part strategy for rethinking this false dichotomy in the classroom. And Akinyele Umoja offers insights about armed resistance from his research in Mississippi.
New Film: The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors – w/ Alice Qannik Glenn
Alice Qannik Glenn is the host of Coffee and Quaq and assistant producer of The Forgotten Slavery of our Ancestors. This short, classroom-ready film offers an introduction to the history of Indigenous enslavement on land that is currently the United States. This new resource from Teaching Tolerance features an extensive group of experts, many of whom will be familiar to listeners from Season 2.
Jim Crow, Lynching and White Supremacy – w/ Stephen A. Berrey, Hannah Ayers, Lance Warren and Ahmariah Jackson
Jim Crow was more than signs and separation. It was a system of terror and violence created to control the labor and regulate the behavior of Black people. In this episode, historian Stephen Berrey unpacks the mechanics of racial oppression, the actions white people took—in and beyond the South—to maintain white supremacy, and the everyday ways Black people fought back. And the directors of the film An Outrage join ELA teacher Ahmariah Jackson to discuss teaching the racial terror of lynching.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A valuable resource even if you are not a teacher
I’ve been listening since season 1 and have learned so much. I feel blessed to have found this resource. Hasan Kwame Jeffries takes us on a historical journey —one that my 45 year old self has desperately needed. Thank you Professor Jeffries.
This podcast should be required for every educator—especially K-12 teachers—in America. Beyond that, this is essential listening for every American. We cannot move forward and make a better America without understanding how this country was built and how we continue to benefit from slavery today. This podcast is brilliantly constructed and deeply informative—it’s compelling and I’m grateful to all who brought it into being.
A must listen for anyone who wants to dig deeper!
While I am not an educator not a student at the moment, I thoroughly enjoy this podcast and what it offers in helping understand history in a different light. It doesn’t hold back on presenting information that is oftentimes intentionally omitted or watered down in society and institutions at large. At the same time, it does its job in emboldening educators to teach even “the hard history” in a way their students can learn, relate and understand. For this, it works for any and all. Highly recommended.