Brodnax Featured on “Heartland History” Podcast


Dr. David BrodnaxWhile Iowa may not always be considered at the forefront of the civil rights movement, it has often led the way among northern and Midwestern states, Dr. David Brodnax, Sr., professor of history, said during a recent podcast by the Midwest History Association.

Speaking with host John Luack on “Heartland History,” Brodnax pointed to Iowa being the first Northern state after the Civil War to give black men the right to vote, in 1868. More recently, Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 Iowa Democratic Caucus helped to solidify his candidacy in the presidential race. “It proved Obama was a different kind of black candidate,” said Brodnax.

Brodnax participated in the podcast while attending the Northern Great Plains History Conference in St. Cloud, Minn. He also spoke on a conference panel about the topic, “‘Because They Were the Only Negro Children’: Racial Isolation & Progress in Dallas County, Iowa, 1860-1910.”

Brodnax discussed a variety of topics during the podcast, including the work on his book manuscript, “Breathing the Freedom’s Air: The African American Struggle for Equal Citizenship in Iowa, 1830-1900,” which he is currently revising for publication. He also talked about his own family history, black college athletes in Iowa, the Great Migration, and why Midwestern history matters.

Click here to listen to the entire podcast.