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, the birthplace of Black Power. 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, to the evolution and implementation of public policies that changed Black communities forever, such as those that undergird the war on drugs. The book aims to provide a new narrative of the Black experience in the post-civil rights era.
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,” a production of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s educational division, Teaching Tolerance. And he regularly shares his knowledge of African American history and contemporary Black politics with the public through lectures, workshops, op-eds, and radio and television interviews. He has also contributed to several documentary film projects as a featured on-camera scholar, including the Emmy nominated, four-hour, PBS documentary Black America Since MLK.
Hasan consults regularly with school districts on developing anti-racism programming. This work includes conducting professional development workshops for teachers, speaking to student assemblies, and developing inclusive curricular centered on social studies.
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, including taking small groups of undergraduates to James Madison’s Montpelier, the Virginia plantation home of the nation’s fourth president, to explore the history of race and racism in America from slavery through the present. For his pedagogical creativity and effectiveness, he has received Ohio State’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university’s highest award to teaching, and the Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
Hasan resides in Columbus and enjoys traveling to the South to visit friends and returning to Brooklyn to visit family.