The Miscellany News reported contentious student reactions to an art exhibit in The College Center Gallery called “Art, History or Stereotype: A Controversial Look at Black Memorabilia,” which showed racist commercial images from the 19th and 20th centuries.  “It’s a tough collection,” said Dutchess County Legislator Mario Johnson, who owned the collection.  “These images are not nice.  You have to put it in the context of the time.  It’s stuff that actually happened.  It’s real history.” 

The exhibit coincided with President Bill Clinton’s national Initiative on Race as well as a series of discussions led by the Student Coalition and various concerned students about issues of race at Vassar. “It’s disturbing, but I thought it would be a good opportunity for students to begin a dialogue about race,” explained Terry Quinn, the director of the College Center.