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 Learning for Justice (formerly 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 great advice for teachers and good information for everybody.
Walking in Their Shoes: Using #BlackLivesMatter to Teach the Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement offers critical context for understanding the systemic police violence, voter suppression efforts, ‘law and order’ rhetoric and criminalization of activism we see today. It also helps us understand the strategies activists use to fight these injustices. Historians Shannon King and Nishani Frazier explain how they use 21st-century Black activism to teach the movement’s history—and how they use the movement to help students better understand the contemporary Black freedom str
The Black Panther Party and the Transition to Black Power
The history of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense can help us understand the transition from civil rights to Black Power, as well as contemporary issues like mass incarceration. From the Ten-Point Platform to survival programs, historian Robyn C. Spencer outlines key aspects of the party’s revolutionary ideology, grassroots activism and community service. And historian Jakobi Williams joins to share valuable classroom insights.
Malcolm X Beyond the Mythology – w/ Clarence Lang
Historian Clarence Lang joins us for a conversation about Malcolm X. We discuss his commitment to Black pride and self-determination and his rejection of the white gaze and the myth of American exceptionalism. Learn how teaching about the life and works of Malcolm X can illuminate the universe of possibilities of the civil rights movement—and the diversity of ideology, strategy and political thought within the Black freedom struggle.
Community Organizing, Youth Leadership and SNCC – w/ Courtland Cox, Kaia Woodford, Karlyn Forner and John B. Gartrell
In this episode, we talk with movement veteran Courtland Cox about lessons from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his own development as a young organizer of the Emmett Till generation. We join Karlyn Forner and John B. Gartrell to tour the resources available through SNCC Digital Gateway. And we hear from student organizer Kaia Woodford about the lessons from the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements that inform her activism today.
Listen, Look and Learn: Using Primary Sources to Teach the Freedom Struggle – w/ J. Todd Moye, Guha Shankar, and Noelle Trent
Oral histories, historic sites, archives and museums expand students’ understanding of the past. They fill in gaps in our textbooks—complementing what’s included and capturing what’s not. This episode highlights online oral history collections including the Civil Rights History Project. It offers recommendations for students conducting their own oral histories. And it explores resources from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
Young, Gifted and Black: Teaching Freedom Summer to K-5 Students – w/ Nicole Burrowes. La Tasha Levy and Liz Kleinrock
Teaching civil rights history to young learners creates both opportunities and challenges. The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project and the subsequent Freedom Schools offer important lessons for helping elementary students to understand the civil rights movement. In this episode, we explore community-based strategies and activities for bringing the black freedom struggle into your classroom.
Supportive & Essential
A deep heartfelt thanks to all who make this podcast possible. As a new teacher, I am anxious about my ability to give my students the learning experiences they deserve. This podcast is encouraging and masterfully created. Its structure and content are the kind of engaging and critical lessons I aspire to teach. I feel connected to the American education community when I listen to scholars from around the nation discuss how they teach our hard history in their classrooms. Dhanyawada!
Amazing resource & podcast!
An incredible resource for educators - I wish my teachers growing up had listened! And a fascinating and thorough listen for anyone who wants to learn more about these crucial topics.
I have recommended this podcast to all of my colleagues at my school. This is such an important podcast for anyone teaching American history, but especially those in k-6 because that is where myths about America get cemented.