What we don’t know about American slavery hurts us all. From Teaching Tolerance and host Hasan Kwame 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.
We’re turning our attention to the enslavement of Indigenous people, spending more time with teachers in the classroom and adding support for K–5 educators. Tune in next week for more advice about teaching the history and long legacy of American slavery.
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 teaching this history, including a first-of-its-kind K-5 framework.
Millions of Indigenous people lived in North America before European colonial powers invaded. Along with an insatiable desire for free labor, Europeans brought a system of slavery that significantly differed from the historical practices of enslavement among Native nations. Historian Christina Snyder tells the story of what happened when these worlds collided. European concepts of bondage transformed the way Native nations interacted with each other, resulted in the enslavement and death of millions of Indigenous people, and sparked widespread resistance by Native nations.
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 examines the Civil War, Lincoln and emancipation with Indigenous people in mind.
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 Teaching Hard History K–5 framework from Teaching Tolerance. We also learn how four elementary teachers are beginning to use it in their classrooms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Film has long shaped our nation's historical memory, for good and bad. Film historian Ron Briley offers ways to responsibly use films in the classroom to reframe the typical narrative of American slavery and Reconstruction.
Film historian Ron Briley returns with more documentary, feature film and miniseries suggestions for history and English instructors. From Ken Burns to Black Panther, this episode offers background and strategies for incorporating pop culture into classroom lessons.
Constitutional historian Paul Finkelman explains the deeply racist bargains the founding fathers struck in order to unify the country under one document and discusses what students need to know about how slavery defined America after the Revolution.
In the United States, justice was never blind. Historian Paul Finkelman goes beyond legal jargon to illustrate how slavery was entangled with the opinions of the Court—and encoded into the Constitution itself.
At James Madison’s Montpelier, the legacy of enslaved people isn’t silenced—and their descendants have a voice. Christian Cotz, Price Thomas and Dr. Patrice Preston Grimes explain how that happened, and why it’s important.
A listener’s question leads to a meaningful moment. And now we want more! Take a listen, then email email@example.com to tell us your story about teaching hard history for an upcoming, special episode.
Enslavement didn’t end with Emancipation. Historian James Brewer Stewart discusses modern-day slavery happening across the world—and right here in the U.S.—showing educators how to connect the past with the present.
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.
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.
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 to understand the legacy of American slavery.
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.
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.