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Pilgrim's Book on Jim Crow Museum Collection Published, Impact of Racist Objects, Images Detailed

Jim Crow MuseumA vast collection displayed at Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, the impact of these items on American culture, and the history of racist segregation are among the themes of a new book.

Ferris Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim personally procured thousands of items displayed in the museum, and authored “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice.” Pilgrim’s 208-page work, published by PM Press, was released on Nov. 5.

Pilgrim is founder and curator of the museum, which is housed in the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education. He first collected anti-black items in Alabama in the 1970s, and donated his collection, then about 2,000 pieces, to the university in 1996. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia was relocated from Ferris’ Starr Building and dedicated in 2012 in FLITE. It is open to the public on weekdays. Tours from universities and groups are welcomed throughout the year. The collection has grown to more than 12,000 items, which includes materials that comprise two traveling exhibits.

The book, like the Jim Crow Museum displays, is intended to promote pointed and thoughtful examination of the issues of race, race relations and racism. Harvard professor and award-winning documentary filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote the book’s foreword, and called the Jim Crow Museum “one of the most important contributions to the study of American history that I have ever experienced.”

“Understanding Jim Crow, Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice” can be purchased at the Jim Crow Museum, as well as Room 312 of Ferris’ Timme Center for Student Services. The book can also be ordered online, from PM Press.

 
PHOTO CAPTION: “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice” has been published by PM Press. The author is David Pilgrim, founder and curator of Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.