[Blackstudies-l] Racist Panel on Display at Central Church of Christ

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Mar 26 12:06:44 EDT 2017

Democrat and Chronicle
03/26/2017 - Page A14

Controversial panel on exhibit

Carousel art on display at Central Church of Christ



An exhibit displaying a controversial carousel panel officially opened at
the Central Church of Christ on Saturday, kicking off a year of rotating
viewing locations for the artwork. The Take It Down Planning Committee, in
partnership with Rochester Museum & Science Center and the city of
Rochester, arranged for the "Take It Down" panel exhibit, which includes
text and video elements on the panel artwork’s history and modern
implications, to reside at the church until May.

The panel depicts pickaninny imagery, which characterizes black children as
wild, and often shows them in scenes of fear or danger. It is said to
perpetuate racism by denying the children! ’s humanity.

The panel came down from the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park last
year, and the church is the first of an expected five or more venues that
will temporarily house the display in the year ahead.

Saturday’s program included a panel discussion with local officials and
leaders on community racism and the importance of local action and

"Racism will not be eradicated unless there is personal action by every
male and female on the face of the earth," said Clifford Florence Sr.,
associate minister at Central Church of Christ and a member of the Take It
Down planning committee.

"This exhibit has provided us a chance to reeducate the community about
racism and wh! at it’s doing to the individual, and therefore the systems
a! nd powers that be in our society," he said. Removing the panel required
the approval of the Rochester Preservation Board, as the 110-year-old
carousel was designated as a city landmark in 1980. The board agreed, so
long as the panel was given to RMSC, restored and placed in an interpretive
exhibit that could be lent out for display. The board also required that
the public help decide the subject of a replacement panel.

STADDEO@ Gannett.com Reporter Brian Sharp contributed to this article.

The painted panel at the Ontario Beach Park carousel featured caricatures
of African-Americans.


The exhibit at the Central Church of Christ includes text and video
elements on the artworks’ history and modern implications.


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