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Island University plans to offer Black studies minor

It was actually a demand from students that helped convince the local campus to offer a black history minor.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Island University has plans to offer one of the few Black history minors offered by any college in the state -- and few in the nation.

It's all about inclusion.

The inspiration for such a course came from student demands, according to Assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Le'Trice Donaldson 

"What was happening with textbooks and pretty much all the books in American history, essentially globally, being written was excluding the contributions of people of African descent. Basically saying they had no contributions," she said. 

Donaldson said that after 16 years of teaching and obtaining her PhD, she was ready to build a 12-credit hour minor for the school.

"Just imagine what this world would look like if you didn't have any kind of examination of black history. And that's why it's so significant," she said.

The demand from students helped convince the local campus to offer a black history minor, and it makes the college somewhat unique throughout the entire state of Texas.

"It makes us one of the few though, there are some other black studies minors and even majors in this system. But there aren't many across the U.S.," according to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Shawnrece Campbell.

Campbell said the 12 hour minor planned to start this fall should attract many students who may feel overlooked.  

"This campus will make me feel welcome and inclusive and like I belong," she said.

Donaldson said she's excited to be coordinating the new course because of the cultural impact it will bring to the classroom.  

"The importance of understanding and appreciating and learning African American history, in particular since we're in the U.S. really gives you more nuance in understanding of American identity, and helping to learn who you are," she said.

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