In any other town, in any other epoch, it would have been great ethnic politicking: Idaho's senior Senator Mike Crapo bequeathed 40 copies of a history of blacks in Congress on the Idaho Black History Museum Wednesday.
But this is Boise and it's the Barack Obama era and while Crapo's visit was not exactly designed to shore up the Black vote, it was timely and his comments were obvious (the quote), but well put (the paraphrase because we were taking the picture):
"As you know America has elected it's first black president," Crapo said.
And while Obama's picture has been on every magazine in America, there are many American leaders who are African-American and do not get recognized, Crapo told Boise's black cognoscenti at a ceremony this afternoon.
The thick volume presents a surprisingly Afrocentric look
(for a government publication, at least!) at blacks in Congress, from Hiram Rhodes Revels, who served one term from Mississippi in 1870 to Laura Richardson, first term rep from California.
The books will be distributed to libraries and loaned to schools.
It was the Black History Museum's second time in the spotlight this month; the tiny museum with irregular public hours was featured on the nationally syndicated radio program The Story a few weeks ago.
Boise State history student Christine Acosta weaves a funny tale
(slide the audio player to about halfway through the loooonnnnng show to get to the IBHM part!) of her efforts to hold a benefit concert for the museum last December for host Dick Gordon.
Acosta raised about $300 for the museum with a show at Neurolux...
Another unexpected treat: Author and illustrator Faith Ringgold
has made an interpretive serigraph of the museum building, which reminded her of her childhood when she visited... the museum is selling limited prints for $2,000.