Black History Month
Black History Month was created to celebrate and honor the many achievements and contributions made by African-Americans to the economic, cultural, spiritual and political development of the U.S.
Beginning in 1926, events were held the second week of February because of their proximity to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two individuals who dramatically affected the lives black Americans.
Black History Month Events
7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, International Ballroom, Pitman Center
Join us as we welcome Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad. Mr. Whitehead will be the keynote speaker for U of I’s Black History Month.
The Underground Railroad, a novel, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, and was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Whitehead’s lecture is sponsored by CLASS and the following units in the college: English, History, Journalism and Mass Media, and Sociology/Anthropology. Additional support comes from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Equity and Diversity.
To complement Whitehead’s address, a panel of U of I faculty members will discuss the significance of the underground railroad at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Menard Law Building Courtroom.
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, International Ballroom, Pitman Center
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) is a cultural ambassador, infusing vitality, innovation and education into every community they touch—around the corner and around the globe.
Every action they perform is done with the intent to transform themselves and others; to give a voice to the voiceless; to leave a lasting legacy of excellence and understanding.
This Denver-based dance group uses the universal language of dance to honor African-American heritage, explore the human condition and offer a transformative experience through movement.
5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2017, International Ballroom, Pitman Center
Join the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Black Student Union for the 14th Annual Shades of Black Show. Shades of Black Show explores and celebrates the different textures and dimensions of the multicultural experience through the performing arts. This year's theme is “Chronicles” and focuses on illuminating the present by chronicling our past and celebrating the icons that impacted our world. Using dance, poetry and song as vehicles for self-expression and social commentary, students and members of the community will take to the stage and deliver unique, engaging and thought-provoking performances. Admission is free. As an advisory, some performances may contain strong language or sensitive content.
For more information, please email the Office of Multicultural Affairs at [email protected] or call 111-111-7716. To learn more about the show visit
Feb. 23-24, 2018
Since the 1960s, the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is one of the largest and oldest educational jazz festivals in the world. With over 400 student performances, a dozen world-class jazz artists and nearly 100 workshops, clinics and special exhibits, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival honors the music, dance and history of jazz music and one of its most honored artists, Lionel Hampton.
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 - 5 p.m.
Vandal Ballroom, Bruce M. Pitman Center
This year we are proud to have on our campus Nikkita Oliver. Nikkita Oliver is an organizer, educator, teaching-artist, and attorney. After graduating from Seattle Pacific University, she earned her Master’s of Education and Juris Doctorate concurrently from the University of Washington. She has spent the years since serving Seattleites as a teacher and pro-bono lawyer. Whether it is inspiring the youth in the classroom, partnering with educators and other working people, or fighting against unjust policies that hurt Seattle residents, Nikkita has made it her life’s work to ensure Seattle leads the nation with progressive policies and transformative structures. She truly embodies what it means to be a public servant.
Nikkita Oliver will be addressing the importance of community organizing and how white supremacist structures affect our everyday lives.
For more information please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 111-111-7716 or [email protected].