I feel like every Black History Month over the last decade has been equal part celebration and dismay. For every great moment in black history to celebrate there is some ignorant headassery that must be addressed. Tonight, we will be going into the latter.
According to NBC News, a campus gift shop at Michigan State University was found to have a display that featured dolls of notable black figures hanging from a tree. Photos of the display were uploaded to Facebook last week by Krystal Davis-Dunn, a student at the school. The display included such figures as Barack and Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King Jr. Davis-Dunn has said this is just the latest in a series of microaggressions she has experienced during her time at the majority-white school.
I just. I don’t know how they didn’t see that hanging up a doll of a former slave and civil rights hero might not be the best look. Just from one look at the picture my initial response was “oof.” Now, I know I shouldn’t underestimate the ignorance of white folks but come on now. We did not watch Roots and Our Friend, Martin back-to-back every February in grade school for you to be this ignorant.
The university issued an apology and has already removed the display. It’s currently on the search for a chief diversity officer. Additionally, those who worked in the gift shop where the display was held have agreed to attend, you guessed it, racial bias training. Had they just read a book or paid attention during Black History Month they would’ve already known that using a tree rack for your black history display is something you just don’t do. That’s just common sense y’all, damn.