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African American History: From Emancipation through Jim Crow

Reveal the historical realities of African American life in the United States after the end of slavery and before the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, and explore how African Americans from all backgrounds fought back to secure key freedoms across public and private life.
African American History: From Emancipation through Jim Crow is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 27.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Held my attention every minute I have watched or listened to dozens of Great Courses in history, music, art, science and other fields, but this one held my attention like no other. Many of the names and events are familiar from my reading, but Dr. Jeffries has way of making it all new. Out of an immense subject he weaves 12 compelling lectures, and he's a master storyteller. I hope to dig into some of the reference material and learn more. Excellent as an introduction for someone new to the subject, it will be equally interesting for people like me who are somewhat familiar with the story. In particular, this course should be on the recommended list for all American high school seniors.
Date published: 2022-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding course for ALL Americans Professor Jeffries provides an outstanding history of Jim Crow America and offers pertinent illustrations for the points he makes. The many stories he tells held this (white male) viewer's interest through all twelve lectures. The only negative thing I can say is that I wish there had been another two (or more) lectures to cover Brown v Board of Education and the Civil Rights era through at least 1965. There is so much more content that Professor Jeffries is clearly prepared to offer, some of which is noted in other reviews. Professor Jeffries is clear and forceful in his presentation. Having him seated while speaking (and recorded from multiple camera angles) is an improvement on Great Courses lectures that have speakers pacing in a repetitious pattern. This course is timely, and I hope it will have many viewers.
Date published: 2022-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comments from a learner Absolutely high quality. This series by Mr. Jeffries is a must watch for African Americans.
Date published: 2022-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OUTSTANDING! Wow! This was an awesome course which I hope can be followed by a second course that will consider the next twenty yeqrs. (I taught history for over forty years in grades seven through twelve.) The focus on the roles of many of the individuals whom Dr. Jeffries presented to us made me sometimes proud (Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson) and sometimes sad and/or embarrassed (so many others). I felt that the professor was very fair in his assessments of his topic. As a white southern man, I considered it somewhat refreshing to hear the terms "Jim Crow laws in the north" and "Jim Crow laws in the west" because my perception has always been that nearly everyone in our nation pretends that discrimination only occurs in the south. That racism only occurs in the south. And for that matter that racism only occurs in the United States. Don't forget that during colonialism throughout the world that the new rulers took advantage of the differences which they identified in their subject people. One example that comes to mind in Africa, the Tutsies and the Hutus. It seems that racism is not confined to Europe or North America. Back to the twelve lectures. The mistreatment of African Americans using the Plessy decision as justification for separate and equal has always disturbed me. The attention to this topic and the injustices relating to lynchings were disturbing, yet were necessary and effective as presented by Dr. Jeffries. It was a pleasure to learn more about A. Philip Randolph and the tremendous impact that he had in the civil rights movement. Now, I need to do additional research on his life. I understand that some of the reviewers were not impressed by the presentation style of the professor. I thought that it was quite effective. I enjoyed the selection of photos that were included. I look forward to more from Dr. Jeffries. I recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in American History!
Date published: 2022-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Depiction I had the privilege of studying African-American History as well as African-American Literature in college. I found this course to be like a breath of fresh air. It was not graphic as to display images from catastrophic eras, nor was the oral presentation overshadowed by theatrics. Dr. Jeffries highlighted specific eras as it pertains to the lives of ordinary citizens throughout different stages in the history of the United States. The presenter did an excellent job of drawing in an audience under the premise of hope, rather than disparity. I learned much about the state of African-Americans leading up to the drafting of the Civil Rights Bill. I felt he should have touched on the long-lasting Tuskegee Experiment and the incorporation of Eugenics into White Supremacy, and its relevance in American culture. Overall, there is a lot to be gained from this course, and I am fortunate to have watched it.
Date published: 2022-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative very well presented and eye opening. So glad I purchased.
Date published: 2022-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding course Excellent course. I binged the 12 lectures in 2 days but easily could have watched and the topic deserved 24 or 36 lectures. It is amazing that African American history has not been the subject of specific courses until Dr. Bell's course on American Slavery and now Dr. Jeffries' course. I was particularly interested in the coverage of convict leasing and peonage and found the detailed discussion of such outstanding leaders such as James Weldon Johnson, AP Randolph, and Charles Hamilton Houston fascinating. Dr. Jeffries was an excellent lecturer and I had no issue on the way the lectures were filmed or how he spoke. (Not sure what those comments are about!) I would encourage the video version as there are lost of photos and graphics that add to the learning experience. I am hopeful, and very eager, to see Dr. Jeffries continue the series into the next era of the Civil Rights Era. Thank you Dr. Jeffries and Great Courses.
Date published: 2022-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great in depth knowledge and information I bought this new lesson thinking I had a fairly decent knowledge of this topic. I have only listened to "six" lectures and learned much more than I ever anticipated. I really am enjoying the presentation style of Dr. Jeffries. The amount of details he provides on the subjects/topics are outstanding. I look forward to completing the lectures and listening to them again and again.
Date published: 2022-07-07
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In African American History: From Emancipation through Jim Crow, join Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Associate Professor of African American history at The Ohio State University, to learn about the African American struggle for freedom and civil rights from 1865 to the 1940s. In 12 lectures, accompany Hasan on a journey from Reconstruction to Jackie Robinson’s first Major League Baseball game, examining the unique struggles faced by Black Americans who were technically free but increasingly limited in what they were able to do.


Hasan Kwame Jeffries

In this course, we'll revisit a history that has sometimes been forgotten, often misremembered, and in many cases, intentionally rewritten.


The Ohio State University

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is an Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University who teaches, researches, and writes about the African American experience from a historical perspective. He earned a PhD in American History with a specialization in African American History from Duke University. He is the author and narrator of the Audible Original series Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement, and he tells the remarkable story of the original Black Panther Party in Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt. He is the editor of Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement and the host of the podcast Teaching Hard History.

By This Professor

African American History: From Emancipation through Jim Crow
African American History: From Emancipation through Jim Crow


Emancipation: The Fight for Rights Begins

01: Emancipation: The Fight for Rights Begins

The fight for freedom did not end for Black Americans when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In the course’s inaugural lecture, explore how African Americans participated as soldiers and strikers during the Civil War, and examine their efforts to codify key freedom rights in the late 1860s.

34 min
The Promise and Betrayal of Reconstruction

02: The Promise and Betrayal of Reconstruction

As conflicting interpretations of Reconstruction tore the project apart, far more sinister economic and social systems began to take shape—not just in the South but across the United States. Investigate the rise of sharecropping and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as the political and legal setbacks that dashed Black hopes for a more equal America after abolition.

37 min
Separate and Unequal: The Rise of Jim Crow

03: Separate and Unequal: The Rise of Jim Crow

How was the “separate but equal” doctrine legitimized and enforced in the United States? Learn how one of the most consequential legal decisions in United States history paved the way for years of state-sanctioned discrimination in the South, and explore the ways in which Black Americans fought back.

36 min
Lift Every Voice and Sing

04: Lift Every Voice and Sing

Crushed under the weight of a system designed to limit their professional and political prospects, African Americans embraced schools, music, literature, churches, and nascent social clubs. Discover how Black communities used culture and institutions to insulate themselves from the harsh realities of the early 20th century.

37 min
The Terror of White Supremacy

05: The Terror of White Supremacy

Violent racial terrorism was endemic across the American South in the early 20th century. From Fifth Avenue marches to Congressional bills, see how African Americans worked to protect their communities from extrajudicial violence, and make sense of their embrace of Black boxing champion Jack Johnson in light of these efforts.

33 min
World War I: Hell in Our Own Land

06: World War I: Hell in Our Own Land

African Americans served in World War I to advance freedom and equality abroad while contending with rampant discrimination and terror back at home. Explore how the values that justified US involvement in World War I collided with the color line, by zeroing in on the experiences of Black troops.

31 min
Marcus Garvey Builds a Black Nation

07: Marcus Garvey Builds a Black Nation

In the early 20th century, a unique kind of ideology gripped the African American community, calling for racial solidarity and emigration to Africa. Get to know Marcus Garvey, the man at the center of early 20th-century Black Nationalism and investigate why scores of African Americans across the United States so readily welcomed his ideas.

32 min
The “New Negro” Fights Back

08: The “New Negro” Fights Back

African Americans were met with hostility as they searched for higher wages and better lives in the North. At the same time, Black art and business flourished in cities and in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in particular. Explore the Northern Black experience, from Red Summer to the Harlem Renaissance.

37 min
The Scottsboro Boys and the Great Depression

09: The Scottsboro Boys and the Great Depression

Why did the 1931 Scottsboro incident happen the way it did? What impact did the Great Depression have on the Scottsboro case and on African American economic life, in general? And how does any of this relate to public schools in the United States? Tackle these questions and more.

34 min
A New Deal for African Americans

10: A New Deal for African Americans

Understand why so many African Americans, fiercely loyal to the Republican Party for decades, cast their lot with Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Explore the varying success of New Deal programs for African Americans, from the revelatory WPA to the outright harmful Home Owners’ Loan Act.

34 min
World War II: Fighting at Home and Abroad

11: World War II: Fighting at Home and Abroad

World War II was more than an overseas military conflict for African Americans. It was simultaneously a battle for defense industry jobs and a desegregated military at home. Become acquainted with A. Philip Randolph, a prominent Black activist, and examine how a major concession from Roosevelt opened doors for African Americans like the Tuskegee airmen.

35 min
Black Athletes Break Barriers

12: Black Athletes Break Barriers

Black boxers, baseball players, and track stars excelled at the highest levels of American athletics in the mid-20th century, but breaking the color barrier was not easy. Uncover what it meant to be a Black athlete in Jim Crow America, through the life and professional career of Jackie Robinson.

38 min