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Events Commemorate Black History Month at U of M, Crookston; Highlights include Chuck Foreman and Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles
January 27, 2009

Contact: Contacts: Thomas Williams, diversity and multicultural services, 218-281-8580 ( Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Crookston, Minn. (January 27, 2009) – In celebration of Black History Month in February, the University of Minnesota, Crookston will host several special events.  Highlights of the month include former Minnesota Viking Chuck Foreman and the Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles. The Black Student Association along with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs are sponsoring the events. They are free and the public is welcome.

Thursday, February 5, the legendary Chuck Foreman, a National Football League running back, will be speaking in Lysaker Gymnasium at 6:15 p.m. Foreman played for the Minnesota Vikings beginning in 1974. He was named conference player of the year by The Sporting News that same year and by United Press International in 1976. Foreman was named to the All-Pro Team in 1975 and 1976 and from 1973 through 1977. He played with the Vikings in their three Super Bowl appearances and played in five consecutive Pro Bowls.

Tuesday, February 10, a poetry jam will be hosted by the Black Student Association from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Sargeant Student Center. The poetry is written by U of M, Crookston students.

TO BE RESCHEDULED: The Reverend Billy Kyles has been nominated for an Academy Award for a documentary called 'The Witness From The Balcony of Room 306' which talks about the final days of Martin Luther King, Jr.  His presentation will be rescheduled and an update released.

Thursday, February 19, Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles, renowned national speaker, will present at noon in Kiehle Auditorium. Kyles has served as pastor of Monumental Baptist Church in Memphis since 1959. He was an eyewitness to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ph.D. Reverend Kyles was appointed by the Clinton Administration to serve on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. He has also served as a panelist at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes.

For more information on these events, contact Thomas Williams, director of diversity and multicultural services at 218-281-8580 (

Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926. The commemoration originated with  historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson. He established what is now known as the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he began an initiative for a special week to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. It became a month-long recognition in 1976. The 2009 Black History Month theme is “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas.”To  learn more, visit

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit