See the Charlotte Carousel panel at the Central Church of Christ.

See the Charlotte Carousel panel at the Central Church of Christ.


As reported today in the Democrat and Chronicle:

A controversial panel displaying racist artwork that was removed last spring from the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park is going on display, with its first stop being downtown’s Central Church of Christ.

Rochester Museum and Science Center, under an agreement with the city, has developed a multi-media display incorporating the panel. A community preview and reception, free and open to the public, is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church, 101 S. Plymouth Ave. The plan is for the panel to be at the church through mid-May, with tours or a viewing schedule still being finalized, officials said.

Tonight’s event is cause for celebration.  After community debate and discussion, the RM&SC’s creation of the display is a Rochester success story.  After a local blogger brought the panel to light, many ideas were proposed: leaving the panel as it is, adding an explanatory text, moving the panel to storage, donating the panel to a local museum, or destroying the panel. We also suggested donating the panel to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.

As the community debated options, it became clear that using the panel as a teachable moment while preserving its beauty was by the far the best route.  Those who couldn’t see why the panel was offensive lost the debate. Those, like Howard Eagle, who believed the panel must be destroyed, lost the debate. Instead we all won.

Below are our stories on the panel:


The City spreads the word about the Jim Crow Museum’s offer. Before it’s too late.

The city of Rochester should consider the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia’s offer to take the Charlotte carousel panel

Adding panel context signs to the Charlotte carousel is appropriate. And the panel is racist, according to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

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

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

About The Author

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 and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. 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, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. 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 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.


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