HASAN KWAME JEFFRIES was born in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Midwood High School in 1990, he headed south, enrolling at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, the nation’s leading institution for educating African American men. While matriculating at Morehouse, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and initiated into the Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Hasan graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse with a BA in history in 1994. That same year, he left the New South for the Old, moving to Durham, North Carolina, and enrolling at Duke University, where he earned a MA in American history in 1997, and a PhD in American history with a specialization in African American history in 2002.
While completing his graduate work, he lived periodically in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the modern the civil rights movement. In 2002, he relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he served as the Bankhead Fellow in the history department at the University of Alabama. He spent one year at Alabama, teaching American history and African American history.
After time well spent in the “Heart of Dixie,” Hasan crossed the Ohio River and joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in the history department. Since arriving at Ohio State, Hasan has taught graduate and undergraduate seminars on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, and surveys in African American and American history.
He has received several fellowships in support of his research, including a Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He has also regularly shared his expert knowledge of African American history and contemporary black politics with the general public through lectures, teacher workshops, and frequent media appearances.
In 2009, Hasan published his first book, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (NYU Press). Bloody Lowndes tells the remarkable story of the ordinary people and college age organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who ushered in the Black Power era by transforming rural Lowndes County, Alabama from a citadel of violent white supremacy into the center of southern black militancy. They achieved this extraordinary feat by creating the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), an all-black, independent, political party that was also the original Black Panther Party. Bloody Lowndes has been praised as “the book historians of the black freedom movement have been waiting for,” and as “an invaluable contribution to understanding current and future ‘conversations’ on race and politics.”
His current book project, entitled Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York, explores the struggle of working class African Americans to secure and enjoy their freedom rights, from the height of the civil rights era through the present, by examining the experiences of the residents of Ebbets Field Apartments, an expansive, 1,200 unit, affordable housing complex built in 1962 on the site of old Ebbets Field, the former home of Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers.
He travels frequently to the South to visit friends, and returns often to Brooklyn to visit family.
View Professor Jeffries' discussion about African American history here.