After spending nearly 40 years collecting various memorabilia from the volatile Jim Crow period, Dr. David Pilgrim recently donated his collection to Ferris State University, opening a themed-museum of educational homage.
The collection ranges from mammy salt shakers to board games, depicting the deliberate separatism we all have come to associate with that era of American history. The museum started out being minimized to a small classroom on the campus, displaying only half of Dr. Pilgrim’s collection. But through a $100,000 appropriation from the university, it’s now housed in a 3,300 sq. foot state-of-the-art space.
While some may see this as an improper and even controversial medium to display such an ugly part of our culture, I personally see the museum and its placement on a college campus as a positive conduit to the necessary discourse we should be having about racism and the other -isms we use to divide ourselves. It’s something I’d be interested in seeing firsthand and taking my kids to see.