A crucial option for the Ontario beach carousel continues to be missing from public debate and discussion.
In August, 2015, Dr. David Pilgrim, founder of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, wrote to me:
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.
Dr. Pilgrim added the Museum would pay for all moving expenses
First, I approve of Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo’s decision to let the city of Rochester remove the panel
And, I agree with City Council President Loretta Scott and Mayor Lovely Warren that the panel should be placed in an exhibit — perhaps in the Rochester Museum & Science Center — that explains its “racially biased depiction” in an “educational context.” (from the D & C) I can also accept an explanatory text (depending on what it says) placed at the carousel site.
However, it is not certain if and when the Rochester Museum & Science Center could take the panel. Based on conversations I’ve had, the panel is not suited for the Memorial Art Gallery collection
If the panel is to be removed before the carousel’s opening this spring–and if the RMSC can not take it–we should seriously consider donating it to the Jim Crow Museum.
This is a far better option than having the panel sit in storage somewhere. The donation to the Museum could be temporary; the panel could be returned to Rochester once a suitable site is found.
Of note, on several occasions I told the D & C about Dr. Pilgrim’s kind offer. As far as I can see, the information has not made the reports of the D & C.
UPDATE: I contacted University of Buffalo’s Professor Victoria Wolcott who was interviewed by the D & C about the carousel. Here is what she wrote:
I certainly support the idea of displaying the panel with historical context and commentary. The Jim Crow museum in Michigan is very reputable and would no doubt do a good job displaying it. Perhaps they could keep it for a time and it could be returned to Rochester at a later date