University of Idaho Students Gain Cultural Knowledge with Black History Month

Tuesday, February 5 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho will celebrate Black History Month during the month of February with an art exhibit at the Prichard Art Gallery featuring art work by Jeffrey Henson and the 10th annual Shades of Black show.

The University of Idaho will be hosting Shades of Black on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. with special host, comedian, Alvin Williams. This year, the show is titled “I am” and focuses on the issues of identity in the black community. The show was first started by University of Idaho student Kawapi Vengesayi in 2003 and has been hosted on campuses all over the Northwest.

”The event will feature talent of students from University of Idaho, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University and other universities in the Northwest,” said Leathia Botello, coordinator of multicultural programs. “Talents include music, comedy, reading, spoken word, dance and stepping. The show will showcase students’ abilities and provide students with an opportunity to become more aware of the culture.”

The Prichard Art Gallery will host a reception on Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. to launch the Jeffery Henson exhibit. The gallery will showcase the exhibit from Feb. 20 – April 6. The Jeffery Henson art exhibit titled, “That Year of Living,” will feature a series of photos through time showing the diagnoses and battle of cancer. The exhibit will be curated by James Wyman. Henson first started photographing the Black Panthers in San Francisco when he was 13 years old. Through the years, he has photographed American society and culture.

Gerald Ford was the first president to celebrate Black History Month in 1976 and the month has been celebrated since. Historian Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland started the Association for Study of African American Life History (ASALH) in 1915 and celebrated the first Negro History Week in Feb 1926. The celebration spread nationwide and evolved into a month of events. Every year the U.S. President picks a theme of Black History Month and this year’s theme is dedicated to the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington.

Black History Month events are sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs by phone at (208) 885-7716 or by email at
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: