Jim Crow Museum – The place of racist memorabilia in Big Rapids

The museum, displays a wide variety of everyday artifacts depicting the history of racist portrayals of African Americans in American popular culture. Also displays books, signs, tickets, brochures and photographs. The mission of the Jim Crow Museum is to use objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.

The museum demonstrates how racist ideas and anti-black images were pervasive within American culture. It also displays artifacts related to contemporary forms of racism, stories about African American achievements, and the Civil Rights Movement / Image source

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia has a collection of over 10,000 objects, primarily created between the 1870s and the 1960s. It also includes contemporary objects. The museum is named after Jim Crow, a song-and-dance caricature of blacks that by 1838 had become a pejorative expression meaning “Negro”. When at the end of the 19th century American legislatures passed laws of racial segregation directed against blacks, these statutes became known as the Jim Crow laws.

David Pilgrim, the founder, and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, has published two books related to the museum’s collection and mission. Understanding Jim Crow introduces readers to the Jim Crow Museum and how the museum uses racist memorabilia to teach tolerance and promote social justice / Image source

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