Prof. Charles McKinney Appointed to the Shelby County Historical Commission

image of college professor Charles McKinney

Dr. Charles McKinney, the Neville Frierson Bryan Chair of Africana Studies at Rhodes and associate professor of history, recently was appointed to the Shelby County Historical Commission. In the role, he  will help to preserve the history of Shelby County, TN.
Members of the commission are nominated by the Shelby County Mayor and approved by the Shelby County Commission to serve four-year terms. Votes by the commission for McKinney’s appointment were unanimous.
Duties of members of the Shelby County Historical Commission include reviewing and approving requests for historical markers, maintaining a reference book on all historical markers in the county, recognizing area historical authors and literary works, participating in relevant historical commemorative events, interacting with historic preservation groups, and assisting with grants from groups and foundations for historic purposes.

At Rhodes, McKinney teaches courses that focus on the African American experience in the United States, and his primary research interests include the Civil Rights Movement and local movements. He co-edited, with historian Aram Goudsouzian, An Unseen Light: Black Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee, which examines Memphis’ role in African American history during the 20th century. The book  covers topics including the relationship between the labor and civil rights movements, the fight for economic advancement in black communities, and the impact of music on the city’s culture.