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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 teacher ...
 
The Journal of American History Podcast features interviews with our authors and conversations with authors whose books on American history have won awards. Episodes are in MP3 format and will be released in the month preceding each Journal of American History (February, May, August and November). Published quarterly by the Organization of American Historians, the Journal of American History is the leading scholarly publication in the field of U.S. history and is well known as the major reso ...
 
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show series
 
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…
 
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 inter…
 
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…
 
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 Derr…
 
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-…
 
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 commu…
 
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 d…
 
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 Woo…
 
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 or…
 
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 …
 
If you're finding this podcast useful, please support us by taking our Listener Survey—only 10 questions—at learningforjustice.org/podcasts. And stay tuned! More episodes are on the way. In the meantime, if you're looking for ways to talk with students about the relationship between the hard history of white supremacy and the insurrection at the U.…
 
From the hard work of organizing to the reality of everyday life under Jim Crow, films and literature can bring historical context to life for students. In this episode, we recommend several “must use” films, books, poems and plays for teaching the civil rights movement. We also discuss strategies for incorporating these works across the curricula …
 
Everyone thinks they know the story, but the real history of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott is even better. This episode details the events that set the stage for Ms. Parks’ civil disobedience. You’ll meet the leaders and organizations who transformed a moment of activism into a 13-month campaign. And you’ll learn about the community tha…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 edu…
 
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 rethinkin…
 
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 wh…
 
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 Bla…
 
Music chronicles the history of the civil rights struggle: The events, tactics and emotions of the movement are documented in songs of the era. From The Freedom Singers to Sam Cooke, historian Charles L. Hughes explains how your students can use music for both historical insight and evidence in the classroom. For more movement music, check out this…
 
Students don’t enter our classrooms as blank slates. When it comes to the civil rights movement, we often have to help our students unlearn what they think they know while we’re teaching them what actually happened. The people were more complex, the strategies more complicated and the stakes more dangerous than we like to remember. In this episode,…
 
Teaching the civil rights movement accurately and effectively requires deconstructing the myths and misconceptions about the civil rights movement. Most people are familiar with a very specific version of the Civil Rights Movement that exaggerates Government support and denies the existence and persistence of racism outside the South. Julian Bond c…
 
The systems that enabled and perpetuated African and Indigenous enslavement in what is now the U.S. have much in common, and their histories tell us a great deal about the present. Professors Bethany Jay and Steven Oliver join us to talk about connections between the first two seasons and how to teach them, and we preview what’s to come in season t…
 
In this special call-in episode, listeners share their stories and questions from throughout season 2—including teaching remotely, working with families and stakeholders, and incorporating social justice into subjects like math and science. As educators, we’re strongest when we support each other. And you’ll hear great suggestions from fellow teach…
 
It’s time for our first call-in show! We know things are chaotic for you and every other educator right now. We feel it too, so this seems like the perfect time to talk. Pick up the phone and dial 888-59-STORY (888-597-8679). Our lines are open until Sunday night, April 19. Teaching hard history is even harder right now, so let’s talk about resourc…
 
Indian Removal was a brutal and complicated effort that textbooks often simplify. It is also inseparably related to slavery. Enslavers seeking profit drove demand for Indigenous lands, displacing hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people. Some of these Indigenous people participated in chattel slavery. Focusing on the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations…
 
The Americas were built on the lands, labor and lives of Indigenous peoples. Despite being erased from history textbooks after the so-called first Thanksgiving, Indigenous peoples did not disappear. Colonial settlers relied on the cooperation, exploitation and forced labor of their Native neighbors to survive and thrive in what became North America…
 
From 1936 to 1938, the Federal Writers’ Project collected stories from people who had been enslaved. The WPA Slave Narrative Collection at the Library of Congress is a valuable resource; these oral histories are also problematic. Interpreting these narratives within literary and historical context, students can develop primary source literacy. Hist…
 
To better understand the United States’ past and present, we need to better understand Indigenous identities—and our classrooms play a huge role. This starts with examining what’s missing from our social studies, history, civics and government curricula. Throughout this episode, we reference the K-5 Framework for Teaching Hard History as we shed li…
 
Educators can no longer ignore our country’s history of Indigenous enslavement. Our students need a fuller understanding of the pivotal history of slavery to comprehend the present and develop a vision for our nation’s future. In this mid-season recap, we highlight key lessons about this consequential part of American history—along with teaching st…
 
Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the forced labor and bondage of Indigenous peoples was integral to the economic and political history of what became the Southwestern United States. Historian and author Andrés Reséndez outlines the significance of silver mining, Indigenous enslavement and resistance in the history of New Mexico and Lat…
 
Guest host Dr. Mireya Loza, Assistant Professor in Food Studies at New York University, interviews Dr. Verónica Martínez-Matsuda Assistant Professor of Labor Relations, Law, andHistory at Cornell University, about her article "For Labor and Democracy: The Farm Security Administration's Competing Visions for Farm Workers' Socioeconomic Reform and Ci…
 
A hundred years before the first ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia, Europeans introduced the commercial practice of enslavement in “The New World.” And for the next 400 years, millions of Indigenous people throughout the Americas were enslaved through several forms of forced labor and bondage. Historian and author Andrés Reséndez …
 
Andrés Reséndez is the author of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America. His work has changed conventional wisdom about the institution of slavery in the Atlantic World. Over the next two episodes, host Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Reséndez will discuss key turning points in this history—exploring how it expands our und…
 
Each autumn, Thanksgiving brings a disturbing amount of inaccurate information and troubling myths into classrooms across the United States. Most students don’t learn much about the history of Native nations—and even less about Indigenous peoples today. Dr. Debbie Reese explains what to look for and what to avoid (or teach with a critical lens) whe…
 
Children’s books are often the primary way young students are exposed to the history of American slavery. But many books about slavery sugarcoat oppression. Professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas examines what we should consider when it comes to how children’s books portray African Americans and Indigenous people, their cultures and the effects of enslav…
 
For elementary teachers approaching the topic of slavery, it can be tempting to focus only on heroes and avoid explaining oppression. But teachers’ omissions speak as loudly as what they choose to include. And what children learn in the early grades has broad consequences for the rest of their education. Dr. Kate Shuster guides us through the new T…
 
Guest host Dr. Susan Eva O'Donovan, Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis, interviews Dr. Aaron R. Hall, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota about his article "Slaves of the State: Infrastructure and Governance through Slavery in the Antebellum South" which appears in the June 2019 issue of the Journa…
 
Understanding Indigenous enslavement expands our conception of slavery in what is now the United States. It spread across the entire continent and affected millions of people of different backgrounds. If we define slavery too narrowly, we can fail to see its persistence over time and even its modern-day permutations. Historian Christina Snyder exam…
 
Millions of Indigenous people lived in North America before European colonial powers invaded. Along with an insatiable desire for free labor, Europeans brought systems of slavery that significantly differed from the historical practices of enslavement among Native nations. Historian Christina Snyder explains what happened when these worlds collided…
 
American slavery shaped our modern world and most certainly the foundation and development of what is now the United States. The Smithsonian’s Eduardo Díaz and Renée Gokey discuss the importance of learning about Indigenous enslavement. And Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello explains all of the program’s classroom resources available for …
 
Guest host Dr. Max Felker-Kantor, Visiting Assistant Professor of American and African American history at Ball State University, interviews Dr. Anne Gray Fischer, Visiting Assistant Professor of history at Indiana University and Assistant Editor at the Journal of American History, about her article "'Land of the White Hunter': Legal Liberalism and…
 
Historian Bethany Jay returns – answering questions from educators across the country. Host Hasan Kwame Jeffries and the co-editor of Understanding and Teaching American Slavery confront teacher anxieties and counter misconceptions in our season finale. Visit the show notes for this episode to find a complete transcript and a list of resources to h…
 
From elementary to high school, YA literature can introduce fundamental themes and information about slavery, especially when paired with primary sources. John H. Bickford shows how to capitalize on the strengths and weaknesses of trade books about slavery. Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued b…
 
Using the present to explore the past. Tamara Spears and Jordan Lanfair suggest a Social Studies unit about Resistance & Kanye West, and a set of English Language Arts lessons examining holidays—from Juneteenth to Columbus Day—to understand the legacy of American slavery. Visit the show notes for this episode to find a complete transcript and a lis…
 
How it’s done. Tamara Spears teaches middle school Social Studies in New York and Jordan Lanfair is a high school English Language Arts teacher in Chicago. Each has been developing additional lessons about slavery for years. They share their experiences. Educators! Get a professional development certificate for listening to this episode—issued by L…
 
Over the next few episodes, we're bringing Season One to a close. Tune in for stories from the classroom, guidance for elementary teachers and language arts classes. And answers to questions from listeners like you. With host Hasan Kwame Jeffries. (Teaching Tolerance / Southern Poverty Law Center)Av Learning for Justice (Host: Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries)
 
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