Registration Underway for New African American History Course Offered in Spring

Article by: Mike Bratten

African American History, a course offered next spring for the first time at Del Mar College (DMC) through the Social Sciences Department, promises to be an exercise in discovery that’s unlike most other history courses.

“People have probably learned about Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, but this class will introduce them to individuals they may not know about who are important in the country’s history,” said Lisa Welch, DMC professor of history, one of three instructors who will teach the course. 

“Someone like David Walker, who was protesting against slavery all the way back in the 1820s, and Esteban, who was here with (Spanish explorer) Cabeza de Vaca…he was one of the first black people to arrive in America.” 

Topics covered in the course, HIST 2381, include:

* Origins of Africans in America in the 1500s – 1600s

* Development of an African American culture

* Realities of the slave experience

* Meanings of emancipation

* Long struggle for equality, justice and full citizenship

* Expressions of African American culture (print, graphic, music, film)

Historical documents related to African American history are key to the course, said Brian Hart, DMC professor of history, another instructor for the course. Students will examine letters, testimony from court cases, speeches, works of art, songs and other material they find on the internet, Del Mar’s William F. White, Jr. Library and other sources.

The textbook, “Freedom on my Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents,” is also part of the curriculum. 

Students will find the course especially relevant considering current issues facing the country, Welch said. 

“There was a time in history when you didn’t see the contributions of women or minorities. This class is an opportunity for students to get a more in-depth study, right up to the present day. 

“When they see that everyone is part of this mosaic, they’ll probably have a greater appreciation for all people in the country, like Native Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans and others.”

HIST 2381 is offered in spring 2018 and meets from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The course satisfies the 3-hour cultural and behavioral sciences component of the DMC core curriculum.

Early registration for spring 2018 classes is underway through Dec. 4. For admissions and registration information, visit 

For more information about the course, contact Brian Hart at 361-698-1635 or; Lisa Welch at 361-698-1636 or; or Dr. Dawson Barrett at 361-698-1630 or

IN THE PHOTO: DMC History faculty (from left) Lisa Welch, Brian Hart and Dr. Dawson Barrett are teaching the College’s first African American History course beginning in spring 2018.  

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