Stories and Objects About “Them”

A historic movie poster featuring Felix the Cat and a cartoon image of an angry Arab man wielding a small sword was meant to be humorous, says Elizabeth Barrett Sullivan, curator of exhibits at the Arab American National Museum.

But what audiences see, she says, actually perpetuates negative stereotypes.

The poster is one of the objects featured in the museum’s new temporary exhibit, THEM: Objects of Separation, Hate and Violence. The photos, drawings, Halloween costumes and other artifacts form a collection that organizers hope will inspire visitors to talk more about issues of race and culture.

WDET’s Laura Herberg visited the museum and spoke with Barrett Sullivan and Dave Serio, museum educator and programming specialist, about a related event, Hikayat: Personal Narratives of Race, Identity & “The Other” which takes place Saturday.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

What’s inside? Take a sneak peak:


Image credit: WDET/Laura Herberg

Aired on: CultureShift

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

Follow @HerbergRadio

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