Book Based on Jim Crow Museum on Michigan ‘Best Seller’ List, Author Pilgrim Preparing Sequel

Jim Crow Musem of Racist MemorabiliaUnderstanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice,” a book written by a Ferris State University administrator, has again found favor on the Michigan Best Seller List.

The monthly accounting of books sold in the state written about Michigan topics, works produced by Michigan authors and/or released by Michigan publishers, finds Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim’s book sixth among all nonfiction releases for October, 2016. This was the second time in a three month span that “Understanding Jim Crow” has achieved that ranking, with the first instance coming in August.

Pilgrim said he was pleased by these results, and a 10th-place mark in January 2016, for his work which was released by PM Press on Nov. 5, 2015. He reflected on a just-completed manuscript, which also deals with his collection and presentation of racist memorabilia.

“It is, in effect, a sequel, and among the names I am considering is ‘Nooses, Straight Razors and Other Stories From the Jim Crow Museum,’” Pilgrim said. “My hope is to complete the publishing process by the fall of 2017.”

Pilgrim said the foreword of his in-production book will come from Debby Irving, whose book, “Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race” has appeared on several national best-seller lists.

“It was personally and professionally difficult to go through this work,” Pilgrim said. “There was a great deal of time required, with an intensely negative subject.”

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is housed in the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education and was dedicated there in 2012, with Pilgrim as its founder and curator. He began collecting items, in Alabama, in the 1970s, with around 2,000 pieces offered in his 1996 donation to the university. Today, there are more than 12,000 items in the collection, which includes two travelling exhibits.

PHOTO CAPTION: “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice” is among the top ten nonfiction works on the Michigan Best Seller List. It was written by Ferris State University’s vice president for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim, who has recently completed a manuscript that continues his experiences with the museum collection.