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U of I’s Black History Research Lab’s First Historical Exhibit Opens Feb. 15

February 07, 2022

MOSCOW, Idaho — Feb. 7, 2022 — The first in a series of collaborative exhibits by the Black History Research Lab (BHRL) and the University of Idaho Library opens with an in-person program noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the Library on the Moscow campus. The student-led exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union and Cultural Center.

The exhibit presents the history of the Black Student Union, details and artifacts related to U of I’s first Black graduate, Jennie Eva Hughes, and a feature on All-American football player and Lionel Hampton School of Music graduate “Thunder Ray” McDonald, who was drafted in the first round of the NFL in 1967.

Professor Sydney Freeman, Jr., director of the project, will speak at the opening to detail the mission of the BHRL.

The BHRL and the Library collaboratively developed the exhibit and the corresponding digital exhibit,

Future exhibits will feature oral histories from current and past Black faculty and staff, as well as other explorations and celebrations of achievements by Black faculty, staff and students.

From 1-3 p.m., the Africana Studies Program and the Library will host an African American Read-In next to the exhibit. The Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English created the read-in in 1990 to celebrate African American literature, to encourage communities to join in reading African American books and writers and to create a larger audience for African American authors.

Participants can sign up to read or recite for three to five minutes. To reserve a spot, email, or sign up at the event. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Media Contact

Sydney Freeman, Jr., Ph.D.
Director, Black History Research Lab

Janis (Jan) Johnson, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of English
Director Africana Studies Program

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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