Doane University criticized for exhibit containing blackface photos

CRETE – Two national free speech and academic freedom groups have criticized Doane University for temporarily sending home a librarian who erected a controversial exhibit.

The groups Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the National Coalition Against Censorship published a letter admonishing the university on Monday.

At issue is an exhibit erected this spring by Doane’s head librarian, Melissa Gomis. The exhibit contained two photos from the 1920s of some students in blackface. The title of the exhibit was “Parties From the Past.”

Gomis took down the two photos when a student complained that they were repulsive. Then the entire exhibit was taken down. Gomis was sent home on paid administrative leave for several days.

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