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Lecture at Kauffman Museum will examine history of racial stereotypes

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A Wichita State University professor will give the third lecture planned in connection with Kauffman Museum’s current special exhibit.

Dr. Robert E. Weems Jr. will speak on “Defining the ‘Other’: A History of Racial Stereotypes” at 3 p.m. April 19 in the Kauffman Museum auditorium. The exhibit is “Sorting Out Race: Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations.”

Weems came to WSU in 2011 as the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History. Before that, he taught for 12 years in the history department at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Weems has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His areas of specialization include African-American history, African-American business history and U.S history. He has done extensive research on the topic of African-American consumers and entrepreneurs.

He is the author of three books and co-editor of another. His most recent book is Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century (New York University Press, 2009).

Weems served as the Kansas Humanities Council consultant to Kauffman Museum during the final phases of the development of the current special exhibit. He is also known to area radio listeners for regular history commentaries on KMUW-FM.

Weems’ lecture at Kauffman Museum is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to promoting humanities programs across Kansas.

Additional support for “Sorting Out Race: Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations” is provided by the Kauffman Museum Association, the Fransen Family Foundation, the Schowalter Foundation and a Newton Et Cetera Shop Local Giving Grant.

Weems’ lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call Annette LeZotte, Kauffman Museum director, at 316-283-1612.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the current temporary exhibition “Sorting Out Race: Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website,, or Facebook page.

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