Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice: the Case of the Jim Crow Museum

The Jim Crow Museum is the nation’s largest publicly accessible collection of racist artifacts. Located on the campus of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, the museum houses more than 12,000 objects—primarily, but not exclusively, segregation era artifacts and everyday anti-black caricatured objects. The museum’s innovative mission—which doubles as its tagline—is “using objects of intolerance to teach tolerance.”  As such, the Jim Crow Museum serves as a compelling model for all museums to consider.

Prof. David Pilgrim, founder and current director of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia also serves as Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Ferris State University.