New Michigan museum houses artifacts tied to America’s racist history

Apr 21, 2012

It’s a collection that’s meant to shock – and it does, full of artifacts including a tea kettle painted in black face and advertisements espousing racist terminology. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, at Michigan’s Ferris State University, houses thousands of pieces that depict stereotypes of African-Americans from the days of slavery to the past presidential election. The $1.3 million gallery, set to have its grand opening April 26, stemmed from the personal collection of its curator and vice president of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Office, David Pilgrim, who is black. Is a museum displaying shameful stereotypes from America’s past a step forward, a reminder of our bias-steeped history, or a step back?

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