Museum will celebrate Black Alaskans’ experiences at free event Feb. 9

an older Black man stands on a basketball court coaching a girls' team
Photo by Jovell Rennie
Milo Griffin, shown here coaching girls basketball, is among the Interior residents profiled in “Black in Alaska: Inside Edition.” A legendary basketball player, teacher and coach, Griffin still holds several University of Alaska Fairbanks basketball records, including most points in a game (43), most career field goals (622) and most free throws made (438). For 36 years he was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,682 points.

The University of Alaska Museum of the North will host a free public event to celebrate the diverse narratives of Black Alaskans on Friday, Feb. 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The celebration will showcase “Black in Alaska: Interior Edition,” a multimedia exhibit that examines the rich history and experience of Black life in Alaska through storytelling.

Attendees can explore the portraits and stories of more than 40 Alaskans from Fairbanks and around the state. The event lets the community connect with featured individuals and learn more about the Black in Alaska media project, launched in Anchorage in 2020.

The exhibit spotlights the often-overlooked stories of talented Black individuals throughout Alaska. Fairbanks community member Bernard Gatewood, who serves on the Black in Alaska advisory committee, emphasized the importance of showcasing the lives of people who, despite their noteworthy achievements, remain under the radar.

"We had many potential people on this list. We ended up highlighting 49 for the 49th state,” Gatewood said of the media project. “The list is not all-inclusive: We made a specific point to find people who weren't getting much publicity. We wanted to highlight people the public doesn't know a whole lot about."

Members of the Black in Alaska creative team, including Jovell Rennie (lead and photographer), Thomas McIntyre (videographer) and MaHogani Magnetek (guest curator for the Fairbanks exhibit) will share their experiences and insights. 

The celebration of “Black in Alaska: Interior Edition” is made possible by support from Alaska Airlines and Rasmuson Foundation. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the museum website or call 907-474-2786.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Aelin Allegood,, 907-474-7505