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Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism Carousel Panel Exhibit Back at the RMSC

    ROCHESTER, NY, July 20, 2020 — The Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism traveling exhibit has returned to it’s home at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). The Take It Down Planning Committee, in partnership with the City of Rochester and the RMSC, invite the public to come see the exhibit now that the Museum has reopened.

    This exhibit, about the Dentzel Menagerie Carousel panel, discusses racism in the past, racism today, and inspires new dialogues about actions we can take in Rochester to work toward social justice for all. Appropriate for all ages, the exhibit is a continuation of an ongoing educational process in the Rochester community to create meaningful and sustained dialogue on individual, institutional, and structural racism, with the goal of impacting racism in concrete, measurable ways. 

    From it’s conception, the exhibit was intended to travel throughout the city of Rochester to be made more accessible for the community.

    “It’s important to bring the Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism exhibit into the community annually as a tribute to Minister Franklin D. Florence Sr. and others who worked hard to make it’s development possible,” said representatives from the Take It Down Planning Committee. “In addition to serving as a reminder of the fact that racism is still alive and well, its proof-positive of the fact that it can be impacted by way of community organizing. The ultimate value of the exhibit is it’s immeasurable worth as an effective teaching-tool, relative to understanding the historical and ongoing existence, nature, and manifestations of individual, institutional, and structural racism.”

    After traveling across Rochester, making stops at the Central Church of Christ on Plymouth Ave. and F.I.G.H.T. Village on Ward St., the exhibit has returned to the second floor of the Science Museum. It is now on display alongside the Museum’s Objectively Racist: How Objects and Images Perpetuate Racism… And What We Can Do To Change It exhibit.

    The Objectively Racist exhibit includes images, product packaging, knick-knacks, and other objects that perpetuate individual, institutional, and structural racism, and dissects the significance of them. Community member Doug Belton Sr. lent these objects to the museum for display with the intention of donating them to the RMSC collection.

    “It [this imagery] has existed a long time and a lot of it was made here in New York State. Not only was it degrading, it was a way to make money for a lot of companies, especially food and tobacco companies,” said Belton. “A lot of people think that racism and racist objects only exist down south, but it happened all over.”

    By repurposing harmful, racist images as tools used for anti-racism education, Belton, the Take It Down Planning Committee, and the RMSC hope to empower visitors to recognize, question, and confront racism and racist imagery they see out in the world; from grocery stores to playgrounds.

    “I think it’s important to know past history so we can deal with future history and make sure that bad history does not repeat itself,” said Belton. 

    For up-to-date details about the exhibit and committee, visit For high-resolution images and additional information, contact the Take It Down Planning Committee at

    Background: In 2016, a panel featuring racist artwork was removed from the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park in Rochester, NY, after being on display for 111 years. The issue generated controversy in our community. The Take It Down Planning Committee created this exhibit to show that pickaninny art perpetuates ongoing individual, institutional, and structural racism by denying the humanity of black children.