Michigan State University Apologizes For Hanging Historical Black Figures From Tree In Black History Month Display

Students say that the display at Wharton Center Gift shop is not the first racially insensitive thing the school has done.

By Breanna Edwards, ESSENCE

Michigan State University is apologizing for a problematic display that offended some people on campus due to its racial insensitivity.

According to WILX, the display, which was featured at the Wharton Center gift shop, showed historical, notable Black figures hanging from a rack that resembled a tree…supposedly in honor of Black History Month.

The display, which was taken down on Friday after complaints rolled in was inappropriate, MSU Spokesperson Emily Gerkin Guerrant acknowledged.

“We sincerely apologize to our community members and have immediately removed the display. Additionally, after the Wharton Center reported the incident, it agreed to provide employees and volunteers with racial bias training that focuses on the impact and understanding of intentional and unintentional racial bias,” Guerrant told WILX.

However, some students also were less than impressed, telling the news station that this is not the first time that something offensive has happened on campus.

“This isn’t MSU’s first run into something similar to this and also that this can’t keep happening,” student Adam Hafner said.

“How many apologies are they going to make, how many more apologies? You know, what is the action plan? I need something real. I need some transparency. I need to know what is happening,” another student, Krystal Davis-Dunn added.

This article originally appeared in ESSENCE.

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