Episode 23: Perfecting Democracy- Why It Matters- Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries

In this week’s episode, Ron Bryant interviews award-winning author and historian Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries. Dr. Jeffries is an Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University and the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt. Alongside Ron Bryant, Dr. Jeffries discusses how race and racism influence voting in the United States.

Hasan Kwame Jeffries was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1994, he graduated from Morehouse College with a BA in history and, in 2002, he earned his Ph.D. from Duke University. Dr. Jeffries’ academic background and award-winning research on the origins of the Black Power Movement in Alabama has allowed him to develop excellent insights on race and electoral participation in the United States. In this episode, we ask Dr. Jeffries about what lessons can we learn from how people viewed the Civil Rights Movement as it was unfolding and why understanding slavery is essential to grasping American democracy.

This episode is part of "Perfecting Democracy," a series exploring the topic of civic and electoral participation using history and jurisprudence to illuminate contemporary issues. The series offers a humanities perspective on electoral engagement in Ohio and America’s multivocal democracy. In each episode, experts from around the state share thought-provoking insights on how best to understand our democracy and why it matters. Perfecting Democracy is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. 

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