Journalism 133: Prof. Craig: Fact Checking Exercise

Fact Checking Exercise

Numerous factual errors have been introduced in the following article, but it is based on a current real story. Please print the story, mark all errors, then rewrite it with all errors corrected. 

University shop's Black History Month display sparks outrage

Indiana State University has apologized after a campus gift shop display appearing to feature dolls of prominent black figures hanging from trees sparked outrage.

The shop display at the Hulman Center for Performing arts was installed on February 1 for the start of Black History Month. It used a tree-shaped rack to hang felt ornaments resembling notable black figures including Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Prince and Barack and Michelle Obama.

The display was removed Monday, according to a statement from university spokesperson Emily Guerrant.

Photos posted on Instagram caused an immediate backlash among black students. Many said it's only the latest example of the racial bias they encounter on the campus, where just under 17 percent of the student body is black.

Krystal Rose Davis-Dunn, a graduate student at the university, first spotted the display last week in the gift shop where she'd attended a dance recital. Seeing the figures hanging from branches evoked a visceral response in her, Davis-Dunn said.

She checked with her friends to make sure she wasn't "hypersensitive," she said, but it enraged them, too. "It's African-American people hanging from twine," Davis-Dunn said. "That is problematic. You're lynching black people from trees."

This came after she had spent a day in meetings with university leaders to talk about bringing more equality and diversity to the campus.

This is at least the third incident on the ISU campus this school year that some black students have found racist and offensive. A black student found what appeared to be a noose fashioned from socks on her dorm room door in October, though school officials dismissed it as a prank.

A professor's survey with racist and offensive language was taken down in the same month.

The Hulman center is named after Tony Hulman, a black man and former professor at the university.


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