Teaching Hard History Podcast

What we don’t know about American slavery hurts us all. From Teaching Tolerance and host Hasan Jeffries, Teaching Hard History brings us the lessons we should have learned in school through the voices of leading scholars and educators. It’s good advice for teachers, good information for everybody.

person freed from shackles and kneeling


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Slavery & the Civil War, Part 1

What really caused the Civil War? In this episode, Salem State University Professor Bethany Jay offers tips for teaching lesser-known history that clarifies this question and cuts through our cloudy national understanding of the Confederacy.

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Slavery & the Civil War, Part 2

Dr. Bethany Jay is back to talk about teaching the end of the Civil War, and how enslaved people’s participation in the war helped subvert the institution of slavery.

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Slavery & the Northern Economy

Follow the money. Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara explains why American slavery couldn't have existed without a national commercial infrastructure that supported and benefited from the labor of enslaved people.

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Dealing With Things As They Are: Creating a Classroom Environment

In many ways, the U.S. has fallen short of its ideals. How can we explain this to students—particularly in the context of discussing slavery? Professor Steven Thurston Oliver has this advice for teachers: Face your fears.

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In the Footsteps of Others: Process Drama

Students learning about slavery often ask, “Why didn’t enslaved people just run away or revolt?” Lindsay Anne Randall offers a lesson in “Process Drama”—a method teachers can use to answer this question, build empathy and offer perspective.

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Resistance Means More Than Rebellion

To see a more complete picture of the experience of enslaved people, you have to redefine resistance. Dr. Kenneth S. Greenberg offers teachers a lens to help students see the ways in which enslaved people fought back against the brutality of slavery.

Diverse Experience of the Enslaved

Most students leave school thinking enslaved people lived like characters in Gone with the Wind. Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens reveals the remarkable diversity of lived experiences within slavery and explains the gap between what scholars and students know.