Ferris State University

Jim Crow Museum Opens in Michigan

Memorabilia hopes to stimulate conversation about race in America

by #teamEBONY, April 27, 2012

Ferris State University

When Ferris State University professor Dr. David Pilgrim first saw the racist artifacts an antique dealer had collected he "remember[ed] thinking this stuff should either be in a garbage can or in a museum," he told The Grio. "All she needs is to have those objects placed in some type of historical or social context. I thought, 'I can do that.'” The museum opened up in the basement of the Michigan school’s library this week and features everything from black face caricatures and rag dolls to segregation signs.

Pilgrim hopes to open up dialog about race in America through the offensive, emotionally-charged visual aides. "I know people are going to experience some things emotionally because there are parts in here that are emotional, but I don't want it to stop there," he said. Benita Jasper, an early visitor to the museum, said, "It has to be talked about,” adding, "You continue to cultivate it and you tell the truth. That's the only way to eradicate the evil ignorance."

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