Controversy behind Dentzel Carousel panel comes to an end

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A racist panel that became a public controversy two years ago is one again in the spotlight. 

The panel depicted so-called pic-a-ninny art on the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park. Now, it's a museum display, and it's being shown all over the city to educate people about racism.

Not only was there debate about taking down the panel, there was debate about what do with it after.

It appears the final decision is allowing people to put the controversial aspect of this behind us.

This pic-a-ninny art panel has been surrounded by controversy since the summer of 2015. Members of the Take It Down committee in Rochester as well as other organizations urged Monroe County and city officials to take down what they believe is a racist panel at Ontario Beach Park Carousel.

The panel has been up for 111 years and it was finally taken down earlier this year. On Sunday the take it down planning committee held an educational session discussing the impact of displaying this panel around the community in an exhibit hosted by the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Howard Eagle who is part of the take it down committee led the discussion.

"Our plan is to have this exhibit travel around the community every year and even when it goes back to the museum, we want to use it as an educational tool," said Eagle.

Those from the public who attended the session praised the message that was put out in Sunday's discussion.

Marcus Harris believes it was a message that everyone in the Rochester community needed to hear.

"I thought it was very informative," said Harris. "I was really proud to see the job they had done explaining exactly what pic-a-ninny art is and how it's still part of a much larger picture of racism in America."

For more information about the panel, click here.


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