"Using Objects of Intolerance to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice: The Case of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia"
The Jim Crow Museum (JCM) began as the personal project of then-Sociology Professor David Pilgrim, and grew out of his collection of more than 3,000 segregation-related artifacts. After using items from the collection with the students in his Race Relations course and seeing the learning it produced, Professor Pilgrim sought to make his collection publically accessible by donating it to Ferris State University. Since its inception in 1996 and the creation of its website in 2000, the JCM has become a national and internationally recognized resource for students, teachers, researchers, scholars, human rights workers, the national media, and other seeking a deeper understanding of race relations. The museum enables visitors to understand that we "learn" racism through the common, ordinary objects that both shaped and reflected attitudes about race, race relations, and racism—and continue to do so today. By presenting these objects within a historical framework, the JCM promotes intelligent and open discussions. The museum's dual commitment to academic rigor and social justice are reflected in its mission, "to use objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice."
Professor Pilgrim, the museum's founder and current curator, will discuss the museum's mission and vision, and its strategy of using historical and contemporary race-based artifacts to teach about race, race relations, and racism. Participants are warned that this presentation contains images that some people find offensive.
This lecture is part of the Museum Voices: Representing Race / Presenting Identities Series, presented by the Museum Studies Program