HASAN KWAME JEFFRIES
Associate Professor (Department of History)
HASAN KWAME JEFFRIES is associate professor of History at The Ohio State University where he teaches courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement.
Hasan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a BA in history in 1994. At Morehouse, he was initiated into the Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He earned a PhD in American history with a specialization in African American history from Duke University in 2002. He taught for a year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, before joining the faculty at The Ohio State University in 2003.
Hasan is the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, which tells the remarkable story of the African American freedom movement in Lowndes County, Alabama. He is also the editor of Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of essays by leading civil rights scholars and teachers that explores how to teach the Civil Rights Movement accurately and effectively.
Hasan’s current book project, In the Shadow of Civil Rights, examines the black experience in New York City from 1977 to 1993. It connects key political and cultural events, such as the youth rebellion in the South Bronx, the emergence of anti-apartheid student activism at Columbia University, and the election of the city’s first black mayor, to the evolution and implementation of public policies that changed black lives and black communities forever, such as those that undergird the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the city’s response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The book aims to provide a new narrative of the black experience in the post-civil rights era, which is essential to properly understanding the race and racism in contemporary America.
Hasan has worked on several public history projects. From 2010 to 2014, he was the lead historian and primary scriptwriter for the $27 million renovation 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 hosts the podcast “Teaching Hard History: American Slavery,” a production of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project. And he regularly shares his knowledge of African American history and contemporary black politics with the public through lectures, teacher workshops, and radio and television interviews. He has also contributed to several documentary film projects, including the Emmy nominated, four hour, PBS documentary Black America Since MLK, as a featured on-camera scholar,
In the classroom, Hasan takes great pride in opening students’ minds to new ways of understanding the past and the present. This has led him to push the very boundaries of what we think of as a classroom. Most recently, he took eleven undergraduates to James Madison’s Montpelier, the Virginia plantation home of the nation’s fourth president, for a four-day immersive educational exploration of the history of race and racism in America from slavery through the present. For his pedagogical creativity and effectiveness, he received Ohio State’s 2012 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university’s highest award to teaching, and more recently, the 2019 Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
Hasan resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Rashida and their three daughters, Asha (8), Aliyana (6), and A’laila (4). They travel frequently to the South to visit friends, and return often to Brooklyn to visit family.