According to its website, "The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is the nation's largest publicly accessible collection of artifacts of intolerance. The Museum contextualizes the dreadful impact of Jim Crow laws and customs. The Museum uses objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote a more just society."
Join us for a tour led by staff of the museum that's located on the campus of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Most of the over 9000 artifacts in the museum's collection were created between the 1870s and the 1960s. The objects on display both shaped and reflected attitudes toward African Americans during the Jim Crow era. Greenbelt, Maryland was established in 1937, right in the midst of that era. Black families were excluded from the government-built housing project, despite early plans for the community where space for black families was included (read more about that here). The types of harmful imagery displayed at the Jim Crow Museum sadly would have been all too familiar to Greenbelt's early residents.
The overarching purpose of the Jim Crow Museum is to educate visitors about race relations in the United States and to share the demeaning images prevalent during the Jim Crow era without sugar coating the past. The museum, however, also features positive displays, including stories and artifacts about African American achievement and the civil rights movement. Additionally, in the past several years the museum has added artifacts defaming women, Poles, Native Americans, Mexicans, Jews, and gay people.
The Greenbelt Museum is proud to be an educational partner with the Jim Crow Museum. Unfortunately, we are not permitted to record this tour. For more information about the Jim Crow Museum, or to do a virtual tour on your own, please visit their website.