The small Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris University is generating a good deal of publicity, for good reason. The massive collection of not-so-distant artifacts from America’s racist past are in one place, in your face, for the purpose of promoting discussion.
Born from the personal collection of, and curated by, former sociology professor Dr. David Pilgrim (an African American), the items–many from beloved consumer brands such as Aunt Jemima–are classified by the content of the stereotype. From raping brutes, to mammys, jezebels, coons, and on and on and on, the incredible coherence of it all hits like a sledgehammer, and funnels right into the surprising new target of racists: our Commander in Chief Barack Obama (yeah, that crap is there too, plain as day).
The museum’s mission is put forth in six bullet points:
* Collect, exhibit, and preserve objects and collections related to racial segregation, civil rights, and anti-Black caricatures.
* Promote the scholarly examination of historical and contemporary expressions of racism.
* Serve as a teaching resource for Ferris State University courses which deal, directly or indirectly, with the issues of race and ethnicity.
* Serve as an educational resource for scholars and teachers at the state, national, and international levels.
* Promote racial understanding and healing.
* Serve as a resource for civil rights and human rights organizations.
This could be distilled in to just one: let’s have a substantive discussion about race in the United States.
[via The Atlantic]