Ferris Homepage

 Letters to the Jim Crow Museum

Golliwogs and Other Things

I have visited the Jim Crow Museum site and am completely amazed at what I have read there. What a gift you have given in providing information never before addressed anywhere. For example, I was under the impression that Golliwog dolls were benign and were based on children's books which I (stupidly) thought were something other than what they have turned out to be! In fact, a few years ago, I had ordered one of these dolls from England, not having an awareness of their pejorative intent.

While I'm on the subject of true confessions, I'll have to say that I collected a pair of salt and pepper shakers, like the very Mammy one that you broke. I thought they were "cute."

Having lived in the north most of my life, and out west for only four years or so, when I was in my twenties, I have not seen the ugly side of prejudice. Before now, there have been virtually few African-Americans living in New Hampshire. Recently, we have had an influx of real Africans who are being assisted by church groups in establishing a new life here.

I wonder how much of what parades as bigotry is not based on malice after all but in a lack of awareness on the part of white folks, like me.

So far, I have only had time to read two of your essays - about Golliwogs, and why you collect rascist objects. What you have said comes through loud and clear. Material objects which depict your people have been and are a source of real psychological hurt and pain for you, and you have struggled and succeeded in establishing yourself as a credentialed professor, in spite of any obstacles, some of which you note.

Thank you for sharing your experiences in a poignant and graphic way. I am certainly much more cognizant of the greater implications of certain material objects and the ways in which they could influence thinking. I don't blame you for wanting to get the collection out of your home and away from small children. I hope that now that they are older, they will realize all of your accomplishments, including your ongoing work to spread knowledge of the Black Experience in America.

I wish you a fine day,

Patricia Cummings
www.quiltersmuse.com
-- Feb. 17, 2006


BACK TO LETTERS

 

Facebook
YouTube  Twitter

About the Founder

Other Stereotypes

Recognition

Quick Links

Speeches
Writings
Speaker Info
Upcoming Talks

Women
Native Americans
Mexican Americans
Museum Staff
Docents
Partners and Sponsors
Other Collections
Contact
Donate
Question of the Month
FAQ
Jim Crow Museum
Copyright © 2014 - All Rights Reserved - Ferris State University