February is known in our country as Black History Month.
In honor of the time, Bacon Academy in Colchester brought in an exhibit and guest lecturer to talk about his collection of artifacts, and their place in black and American history.
While the display was met with an overwhelming positive view, there is some concern that parts of the display are inappropriate and offensive.
There is a two-day event at Bacon Academy and the majority of complaints are centered on an authentic hood and robe once worn by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The complaints say it's brings up negative images and that's not how you should celebrate Black History Month, but the owner of the exhibit said the clothing, and the other items are not about inciting but about education.
The KKK robe in owned by Jeffrey Fletcher, a 1975 graduate of Bacon Academy who, this week, will speak to about 500 students studying American history.
“It's not about race baiting, opening up old wounds or causing problems, it's the same as trying to teach any type of history,” Fletcher said.
He is a 20-year veteran of the New Haven Police Department and said he's developed the exhibit and his lecture program to make sure the evil messages and actions that are deeply rooted in part of American history are never duplicated.
“We don't need to forget, we can't forget. In order to understand our future and move forward, we have to understand our past,” Fletcher said.
“What he had was very powerful,” said Superintendent of Schools Jeffry Matthieu, who added that a powerful display can be thought provoking, often bringing about debate.
The school did receive two calls concerning the robe and those callers said they believe it was offensive and shouldn't be included in a celebration of black history.
Others can see the argument but feel the need to always remember is also important.
“I think so because it is part of the education and hopefully we've moved on from there and learned from it,” said Priscilla Prior of Colchester.
“You have to understand what the history of the past is, to stop it in the future,” Matthieu said.
“This is an important part of African American history and it should not just be celebrated during February, it should be told all year round,” Fletcher added.
Fletcher is speaking and showing his exhibit on Tuesday at Bacon Academy.
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