Jim Crow Museum
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
From Aunt Jemima advertisements to the board game Ghettopoly, American popular culture is replete with racist images. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia features an extensive collection of racist objects that trace the history of the stereotyping of African Americans. The museum, located at Ferris State University, is offering "Hateful Things," a traveling exhibition of these images to further the museum's mission of stimulating the scholarly examination of historical and contemporary expressions of racism, as well as promoting racial understanding and healing.
In the early 1830s Thomas Dartmouth Rice created the antebellum character Jim Crow. "Daddy Rice" was a white actor who performed, in blackface, a song-and-dance whose exaggerations popularized racially demeaning minstrel shows. The name "Jim Crow" came to denote segregation in the 19th century when Southern and Border states passed "Jim Crow laws," legitimizing a racial caste system.
The 39 piece traveling exhibition contains items of material culture from the late 19th century to the present, embodying the terrible effects of the Jim Crow legacy. In addition to items from popular and commercial culture, the traveling exhibit also contains images of violence against African Americans as well as the Civil Rights struggle for racial equality.
The objects have been professionally framed. Plain black frames and brown backgrounds have been chosen to keep the emphasis on the objects as artifacts. Signage for each object places it in its proper cultural or political context.
The disturbing objects in "Hateful Things" have been lifted from their original purposes to now serve as powerful reminders of America's racist past. But more importantly, the exhibition gives viewers new eyes with which to see present-day images of racial stereotyping that might otherwise pass unchallenged.
Exhibition and Museum Contacts
For information on booking Traveling Exhibits, including scheduling and hosting costs, contact Lisa Kemmis at [email protected] or (231) 591-5873.
Host institution fees