Please be advised that I’m writing in reference to the article concerning the “black face” display [“African-American Rag Dolls On Display At Rogers Memorial Library In Southampton For Black History Month,” 27east.com, February 4]. The greater community, and wisdom, wouldn’t condone such behavior and insensitivity.
Sam Johnson is an amateur and has no right to display such symbols of hate. They are his private collection — let him display them in his own home.
The public deserves more. Would this be happening if there were other symbols of hate, such as swastikas, nooses or guns? Should we now display statues of Robert E. Lee, George Wallace, Hitler or the many faceless enslavers in public places?
These images are not just insensitive and symbols of hatred, rape, and representations of racism and sexism; they instill psychological harm and inferiority. At best, when these dolls are on display, it must be in a tightly control environment.
Rogers Memorial Library and Mr. Johnson are doing the community a great harm. This is completely unacceptable, and, along with many others, I am disappointed that we haven’t come far enough to understand the ramifications of these images.
Dr. Georgette L. Grier-Key
Executive Director and Curator
Eastville Community Historical Society
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