Ideas to Innovation - Season Two

Teaching ‘Hard History’ To Help Students Understand Past & Present

About this episode

The topic of civil rights in the United States is never far from the headlines. For almost 250 years, civil rights has remained a complex part of the fabric of America. Helping university students understand the history of civil rights, the important milestones in that ongoing struggle, and what it means for them has been a life’s work of the guest in this episode of Ideas to Innovation Season Two.
Joining our podcast is Dr. Hasan Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and adviser to ProQuest, part of Clarivate. In the latter role, he helps to shape some of the most trusted and valued ProQuest resources on African American history, including its open Black freedom struggle website, and a new digital resource for colleges and universities called ProQuest Black Studies. Dr. Jeffries teaches, researches, and writes about the African American experience from a historical perspective.


Hasan Kwame Jeffries
PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, The Ohio State University

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is an associate professor in the Department of History at The Ohio State University. He graduated from Morehouse College with a BA in history and earned his PhD in American history with a specialization in African American history from Duke University. Hasan teaches, researches, and writes about the African American experience from a historical perspective - he has chronicled the civil rights movement in the ten-episode Audible Originals series “Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement,” and has told the remarkable story of the original Black Panther Party in Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, which has been praised as “the book historians of the black freedom movement have been waiting for.” Hasan has collaborated on several public history projects, including serving as the lead scholar and primary scriptwriter for the $27 million renovation and redesign of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He regularly shares his expertise on African American history and contemporary Black politics through public lectures, op-eds, and interviews with print, radio, and television news outlets, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC and has also contributed to several documentary film projects as a featured on-camera scholar, including the Emmy nominated PBS documentary Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise. Hasan’s commitment to teaching “Hard History” led him edit Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of essays by leading civil rights scholars and teachers that explores how to teach civil rights history accurately and effectively, and to host the podcast “Teaching Hard History,” a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice division. Hasan also helps school districts develop anti-racism programming and culturally responsive curricular content centered on social studies by conducting professional development workshops for teachers and administrators.

About Ideas to Innovation Season 2

Hear inspiring stories told from a personal, on-the-ground perspective from the people who were there from the start, who are most passionate about the positive outcomes they helped deliver. These are stories about innovation that, by the end of each episode, you can’t help but think: “Wow, they really did that?”