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Ferris State University Opens ‘Jim Crow Museum’


The artifacts displayed in the new museum at Ferris State University are not there to promote hate, but to provide a look into the history of racism in this country, according to university officials.

They range from innocent looking objects like ashtrays, fishing lures, and dolls, to the disturbing – a full-size replica of a lynching tree. But, they all of something in common: they’re so charged with racism that it makes visitors uncomfortable just to look at them.

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia says it has amassed the nation’s largest public collection of artifacts spanning the segregation era. It’s located in a pristine new exhibit hall on Ferris States campus, and David Pilgrim, the founder and curator, told ABC News, that the exhibit “is all about teaching, not a shrine to racism”. He’s been building this collection since he was a teenager.

Before you decide to call him racist, you need to know that Pilgrim is actually an African-American man, and he makes no apologies for the exhibit.

The displays are pretty shocking. The n-word is everywhere, and a lot of the items portray black men as lazy, violent or inarticulate, while black women are shown as kerchief-wearing mammies (think Aunt Jemima), sexually charged temptresses or other stereotypes.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 12pm until 5pm.

Learn more about the museum in this video.

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