Officials at Michigan State University has ordered a gift shop display of prominent black figures such as former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Martin Luther King Jr. hanging from a tree-like display.
"We were made aware of an inappropriate and insensitive display at the Wharton Center gift shop which used a tree-like rack to hold historical black figures," MSU spokesperson Emily Gerkin Guerrant said in a statement, reports Newsweek. "We sincerely apologize to our community members and have immediately removed the display."
Student Krystal Davis-Dunn brought attention to the display at the university's Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan, last week.
"What a way to honor Black History!" she posted on her Facebook account. "This was not (an) art display... this was a product brought by Michigan State University and sold at a gift shop and displayed by staff on trees... it’s just that simple!"
She said her intention for posting the display "was to vent and highlight the continuous acts of microaggressions I’ve experienced as a Black student at MSU. The symbolisms in these photos explains itself."
The school apologized in its statement and said it immediately removed the display on Friday. In addition, "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 recognize the many contributions of African Americans, but we remember history and confront all bias."
Last October, MSU came under fire after someone hung what appeared to be a noose made of toilet paper from a residence hall room door. Student Adam Hafner told radio station WILX that the incident wasn't the first at the school.
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