The Jim Crow Museum . . .

If you’ve forgotten the bad old days, you can now revisit them.  The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the campus of Ferris State University.

Quoting from the announcement:

“The objects displayed in Michigan’s newest museum range from the ordinary, such as simple ashtrays and fishing lures, to the grotesque — a full-size replica of a lynching tree. But all are united by a common theme: They are steeped in racism so intense that it makes visitors cringe.”

David Pilgrim, the founder and curator, began the collection as a teenager in Alabama. He says visitors can forget about touring the exhibits and retiring untroubled to a cafe or gift shop. Some leave angry or offended. Most feel a kind of reflective sadness.

Reflective sadness: a thing we could use more of. Some of the objects in the museum are over a century old, but others, like a tee shirt picturing Obama as a monkey, are more recent.

These are the states that enforced Jim Crow laws.

But some things HAVE changed.

2 responses »

  1. Thank you for posting this difficult reminder that racism is alive and well.

    Reply
  2. I was shocked at my revulsion “coon” in this post–on par w/ the “n” word. I wonder if other races are represented here? The Frito Bandito, etc.

    Reply

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