For Immediate Release
April 18, 2024
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Dave Traube
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
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(BPRW) Marshall, co-sponsors create special online courses program to mark centennial of Negro History Week/Black History month

(Black PR Wire) Marshall University announces a Call for Proposals to help create an Online Black History Courses Program commemorating the centennial of Negro History Week/Black History Month, which began in 1926 as a public-education program of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a graduate and former principal of Huntington’s Douglass School. Dr. Woodson also was a former dean at Howard University and West Virginia Collegiate Institute (now West Virginia State University.)

The online courses program is a major focus and outgrowth of the observances planned for 2026 by the Negro History Week/Black History Month Centennial Committee that Marshall and its partners also announced today. The centennial is a collaboration among Marshall University, the city of Huntington and Marshall Health Network and represents cooperation involving many other supporting institutions.  Details of the announcement are located here.

The Online Black History Courses Program will involve instruction in entry-level, non-credit courses – much like Dr. Woodson’s Home Study Department, which offered correspondence courses on Black History in a variety of disciplines. The university plans to offer most courses free or at a nominal charge, regardless of age or educational background. However, enrollees may complete several related courses for certificates in Black History for a fee to be determined later. There are no prerequisites.

Instructors will be selected on the strength of their resumes and proposals. Academics are encouraged to offer courses as well as non-educators with expertise but who may lack degrees. Instructors will be compensated for their services.

Check out Carter G. Woodson’s list of fifteen outstanding events in Black History

Professor Burnis Morris, who explained Dr. Woodson’s public-education program in a 2017 book, said “Dr. Woodson succeeded despite limitations imposed by a segregated society and one with less technology than most people today could imagine. We have to be inspired by his commitment.”

Instructors for Marshall’s online courses may be from on campus, off campus or from anywhere in the world. Morris, who is co-chairing the Centennial Committee with President Brad D. Smith, said “students, likewise, will be welcomed to enroll in the courses from wherever they live.”

David Harris, a member of the Cabell Huntington Hospital board and president of the Huntington area branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, considers the centennial as an opportunity for Americans to view Black achievements as American achievements, adding, “Black History is American History,” Harris said. “If we don’t learn it, we won’t know it.”

Dr. Julia Spears is chairing the Centennial Committee’s online subcommittee on Black History courses. Dr. Spears said: “As we commemorate the centennial of Black History Month and its founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, we hope to honor his legacy by deepening our understanding and appreciation of Black History through education. Our development of online courses aims to provide accessible, flexible learning experiences to illuminate the amazing contributions of Black individuals throughout history, fostering a more inspired and informed society.”

In responding to the Call for Proposals, prospective instructors can find more information here.

The deadline for receiving proposals is September 30, 2024. Instructors whose proposals are selected will be notified during the spring of 2025. Classes may begin as early as fall 2025. Instructors will be paid on the basis of the length of the courses and how much effort is expected in the proposed instruction.

Source: Marchall University