The first course in Black History was offered during Fall Quarter, 1968, following protests and demands by Western's Black Students Union in the spring of that year, after Martin Luther King's assassination in April. Today it continues as History 261 and 263 (5 credits each). Professor Bob Keller will explore some of the most controversial events in Whatcom County's history, including Paul Robeson's concerts at the Blaine Peace Arch, 1952-56.
Western's History Department hired Bob Keller in 1968 to teach the school's first Black History course. He has also taught at Olympic College, Colorado College and the University of Maine, and four times been a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona. He currently serves on the board of Whatcom Land Trust and has edited the book Whatcom Places.