College offering course on African-American history


Surry Community College will be adding Social Science Course HIS 221: African-American History led by Instructor Rick Shelton, to its fall line up of classes.

“Students who enroll in the African-American History course will delve deep into the complex story of black life in America over the span of the past 400 years beginning with the colonial slave trade traveling through time all the way to the 21st century to examine the evolving ways in which violence and discrimination toward African-Americans have structured, and continue to influence, American society,” the college said in announcing the class.

Throughout the semester-long course, “the multitude of included topics such as the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the Civil Rights Movement will paint a vast, detailed portrait of U.S. history through the unique lens of the African-American perspective,” the college said.

“Not only will students analyze how the African-American identity, born in bondage, changed with the rise and fall of slavery in the United States, they will also be pushed to view blacks beyond the traditional stereotype simply as victims and will explore the ways in which black women and men took control of their lives to leave a lasting impact on America’s history and future. Upon completion of the class, students should be able to analyze significant political, socioeconomic, and cultural developments in the history of African-Americans.”

With more than 25 years of work experience in newspaper and magazine publishing, Shelton earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Lynchburg College in Virginia, a Master of Business Administration from James Madison University, and a master’s degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Shelton describes one of his favorite topics in history as “19th and 20th century social history, for instance the intense struggles of a variety of ‘othered’ groups based on race, class, or gender.” As a result, he is especially passionate about leading the upcoming African American History course.

Shelton provided some insight into the power and importance of the course for students by saying, “We will attempt to integrate diverse black experiences and perspectives into the main narrative of American history, destroying the segregated history that is itself a product of a history of oppression.”

HIS 221: African-American History is scheduled for the fall 2017 semester, and will meet Aug. 15 through Dec. 18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Surry’s campus at 630 S. Main St., Dobson. African-American History is a unique course offering and is not offered each semester, but instead may only be available yearly or even biannually.

Registration for fall classes is open. Those interested in enrolling in African-American History must register before Aug. 1. For additional information regarding applying for admission and registration, contact Student Services at (336) 386-3264. For questions regarding HIS 221: African-American History, contact Instructor Rick Shelton at (336) 386-3236 or

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