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Last week I was invited to give a talk about free speech at Ferris State University in Michigan.Much to my pleasure, I discovered that one of the professors at Ferris is an old colleague, Dennis Ruzicka, who was a fellow reporter 20 years ago when we both worked for a small-town, daily newspaper in Wisconsin.The late Glen Woods of Russellville, Ohio, gave this collection to the church in recognition of what Aunt Jemima had contributed to the people of the United States.In honor of Aunt Jemima, an annual pancake breakfast is held at the church.
Examples include the following: The new racial climate is marked by ambivalence and contradiction. Old racist items are being reproduced and new items are being created.
These anti-black depictions were routinely manifested in or on material objects: ashtrays, drinking glasses, banks, games, fishing lures, detergent boxes, and other everyday items.
These objects, with racist representations, both reflected and shaped attitudes towards African Americans.
Most polls about race show a decline in prejudice among whites. Each year, Halloween USA produces monster masks by exaggerating the features of Africans and African Americans.
There remains a heightened sense that racism is wrong and that tolerating 'racial others' is good; however, there is a growing acceptance of ideas critical of and belittling toward blacks and other minorities. In the early 1990s I attended an academic conference in New Orleans. More recently, of course, other images have been coming out of New Orleans, also imbued with racial meanings.
Robbin Henderson, director of the Berkeley Art Center, said, 'derogatory imagery enables people to absorb stereotypes; which in turn allows them to ignore and condone injustice, discrimination, segregation, and racism.' She was right. They were used to buttress Jim Crow laws and Jim Crow etiquette." However, the purpose of the museum is not to offend but "to educate visitors about race relations in the United States. We believe that these items must be viewed and understood without sugar coating." ).