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Ferris' Jim Crow Museum Featured in PBS Series `The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross'

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University will be featured in the Tuesday, Nov. 12 episode of the PBS series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

Gates, a noted Harvard scholar, visited the Jim Crow Museum in November 2012 with a PBS film crew to shoot a segment for the six-hour series, which chronicles 500 years of black history. Episode four, “Making a Way Out of No Way,” portrays the Jim Crow era.

“‘The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross’ is this generation’s ‘Roots’,” said vice president for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim, the museum’s founder and curator. “It is an ambitious and important film — one that will be used as a teaching tool in high schools and colleges across the nation.

“It is an honor to have the Jim Crow Museum highlighted in the film. It demonstrates that the museum is a well-respected national resource.”

The episode, scheduled to air at 8 p.m. (check local listings), includes an interview with Pilgrim. Additional footage of the museum’s collection will be shown in episode six, “A More Perfect Union,” which airs on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

The 3,500-square-foot museum, located in the Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education, offers a timeline of the African American experience in the United States.  

“I have for many years believed that Ferris State University can and should have a voice in national dialogues about race, race relations and racism,” Pilgrim said. “The inclusion of the Jim Crow Museum in this important film suggests that the university is well on its way in partnering in important national discussions.”