Teaching Hard History podcast

Teaching Hard History

Learning for Justice

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.

64 Episodes

  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Building Black Institutions: Autonomy, Labor and HBCUs – w/ Jelani M. Favors and Tera W. Hunter

    1:21:31

    Historian Tera Hunter describes Black institution-building post-slavery and throughout the Jim Crow era, illustrating how Black workers reorganized labor to their advantage, despite virulent white resistance. During the same period, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) produced future leaders while cultivating resistance to white supremacy—and continue to do so. Educator Jelani Favors explains the evolution of these institutions, noting their legacies of social activism and student advocacy. Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd. Visit our enhanced episode transcript for even more resources about using current events to teach about Black-institution building during the Jim Crow Era.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Premeditation and Resilience: Tulsa, Red Summer and the Great Migration – w/ David Krugler

    45:18

    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. Visit our enhanced episode transcript for even more resources for teaching about the Great Migration and Anti-Black Collective Violence during the era of Jim Crow. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

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  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Lynching: White Supremacy, Terrorism and Black Resilience – w/ Kidada Williams and Kellie Carter Jackson

    1:21:01

    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. ** Content Advisory: This episode contains graphic descriptions of racial violence, and we discuss strategies for sharing this difficult content with your students.  ** Educators, you can get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd. And be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources for teaching about Lynching during the Jim Crow era.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Correcting History: Confederate Monuments, Rituals and the Lost Cause – w/ Karen Cox

    1:05:48

    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. Educators, you can get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd. And be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources for teaching about the role of the Lost Cause narrative in the Jim Crow era.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Reconstruction 101: Progress and Backlash – w/ Kate Masur

    1:51:33

    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. Visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources for teaching about Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    The History of Whiteness and How We Teach About Race – w/ Edward E. Baptist and Aisha White

    1:20:37

    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.  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. To start the conversation in your classroom, this overview of the “Historical Foundations of Race” by David Roediger is a comprehensive and perfect for educators—from the National Museum of African American History & Culture. For younger learners, P.R.I.D.E.’s Research Findings offer valuable insights into child development and race. And elementary teachers may want to use this lesson—“Looking at Race and Racial Identity in Children’s Books”—from Learning for Justice.  If you’re interested in bringing archival sources into your lessons, Freedom on the Move provides some wonderful, detailed K-12 lessons utilizing fugitive slave ads. And here’s the 1910 essay “The Souls of White Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois that was quoted in the introduction.  And be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more classroom resources about teaching the construction of race and the history of whiteness.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Creating Brave Spaces: Reckoning With Race in the Classroom – w/ Matthew R. Kay

    1:08:31

    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. Visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources about strategies for teaching about Race and the Jim Crow era. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Jim Crow: Yesterday and Today

    52:16

    This season, we’re examining the century between the Civil War and the modern civil rights movement to understand how systemic racism and slavery persisted and evolved after emancipation—and how Black Americans still developed strong institutions during this time. Co-hosts Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Bethany Jay discuss how students need to grasp this history to understand injustices many of them face today, from voter suppression to mass incarceration. Visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources about teaching the era of Jim Crow. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Baseball, Civil Rights and the Anderson Monarchs Barnstorming Tour (special) - w/ Steve Bandura and Derrick White

    1:52:29

    In 2015, Coach Steve Bandura loaded the Anderson Monarchs, a little league baseball team from Philadelphia, onto a 1947 Flxible Clipper Bus for a barnstorming tour back in time. Bandura and the players recount lessons learned while visiting historic civil rights sites, meeting veteran activists and playing baseball along the way. And historian Derrick E. White, co-host of The Black Athlete podcast, explores the intersection of sports and civil rights history. Listen to our latest Spotify playlist for even more Movement Music inspired by this episode!  For good advice on teaching about barrier breakers like Jackie Robinson, read “More Than a Name: Teaching Historic Firsts”.  See pictures of the Anderson Monarchs Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour from the team’s website. And see great footage from the road in this video about the tour. After you listen to The Black Athlete podcast, check out Derrick White’s book about the history of Black College Football: Blood, Sweat, and Tears. See Mo'ne Davis on the cover of Sports Illustrated in this article about the underdogs from Philadelphia who took the Little League World Series by storm.  Be sure to visit the enhanced episode transcript for additional classroom resources for teaching about sports and the civil rights movement. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen to the episode for the special code word. Then visit learningforjustice/podcastPD.
  • Teaching Hard History podcast

    Walking in Their Shoes: Using #BlackLivesMatter to Teach the Civil Rights Movement – w/ Shannon King and Nishani Frazier

    1:30:18

    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 struggle. Listen to our latest Spotify playlist for even more Movement Music inspired by this episode.  “You do know that when Dr. King was alive we had the Watts riots…” – Watch the exchange we discuss between Don Lemon and Rev. Jesse Jackson during the 2014 Ferguson uprising.  Are you qualified to vote? – This is an amazing collection of Jim Crow era state voter applications and literacy tests from before the Voting Rights Act.  “Voter suppression then and now” – This lesson plan offers students historical context and an examination of the issue today.  “Teaching About Mass Incarceration: From Conversation to Civic Action” – A teacher shares ideas from her own classroom. Visit the enhanced episode transcript for even more resources about using current events to teach about the civil rights movement. And Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by Learning for Justice. Listen for the special code word, then visit learningforjustice.org/podcastpd.

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