On the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia and the Charlotte Carousel

On the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia and the Charlotte Carousel

From The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

• August 26, 2015

Several days ago the D & C Editorial Board weighed in on the Charlotte Carousel controversy. The Board recommended removing the panel, ideally relocated to the Rochester Museum and Science Center or the Memorial Art Gallery. Yesterday, Democratic and Green Party County Executive candidates Sandra Frankel and Rajesh Barnabas called for its removal. Frankel made a powerful suggestion to create a replacement panel portraying the progressive fight for freedom and equality, perhaps depicting Frederick Douglass.

democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/08/22/editorial-remove-ontario-beach-park-carousel-panel/32117059/

democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2015/08/25/sandra-frankel-carousel-image-pickanniny-art-ontario-beach-park-swastika-confederate-flag/32320843/

I entirely agree with Frankel and Barnabas. The ideal location would be the RMSC or the MAG. However, if this is not feasible, another very intriguing option needs to be placed in the discussion.

Housed in a gleaming new exhibit hall at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan is the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. The Museum has amassed the nation’s largest public collection of artifacts spanning the segregation era, from Reconstruction until the civil rights movement, and beyond. As founder and curator Dr. David Pilgrim says, the Museum “is all about teaching, not a shrine to racism.”

ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/more.htm

This morning I spoke with Dr. Pilgrim on the feasibility of relocating the Charlotte panel to his Museum. Pilgrim expressed immediate interest. By coincidence, the museum is building two new showcases.  As explained by Pilgrim,

These showcases will be built in the next two weeks. Our plan, from the start, was to use one of these showcases to highlight artifacts that have sparked national discussions. It seems to me that the carousel panel is an ideal fit for one of the cases. We would tell the story of the panel’s origins–and, the ensuing controversy surrounding the object. I believe that it would be a wonderful teaching tool, if donated to the Jim Crow Museum.

Again, displaying the panel at the RMSC or the MAG is the best scenario. If not possible, Rochester should consider making a timely gift–in the spirit of Frederick Douglass–to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Pilgrim adds that the museum would pay for all shipping and handling.

also Thoughts on why the carousel panel belongs in the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

Tagged , , , , , , ,

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

Donate

Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts

Loading

%d bloggers like this: