Petition started to remove 'offensive' Merchandise Mart mural of African-American women picking cotton

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tags: racism, Merchandise Mart

For months, Timothy Kincaide has walked daily through the lobby of the Merchandise Mart, but it wasn’t until a co-worker told him to look up that he noticed a mural of what appears to be African-American women picking cotton.

“I see oppression, I see pain, you know, I see my people bent over bleeding at the fingers picking up cotton,” Kincaide, who is African-American, said of the mural. He’s not sure whether the mural is illustrating slavery — someone told him the boats hint that it was 10 to 15 years after emancipation — but Kincaide said the images are demeaning just the same.

That’s why he started an online petition this week that calls for the Merchandise Mart to remove or cover the mural of the women. The petition reads, in part: "Concerns have grown about a mural that displays black post slavery ancestors picking cotton on a Mississippi plantation. We feel that this mural is very offensive, and does not represent a part of history that we are proud of."

Read entire article at The Chicago Tribune

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