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Did you know that the term "Jim Crow" is actually a song and dance invented by a white minstrel performer named Thomas Dartmouth Rice to mockingly portray a witty black slave in shabby clothes?

Rice's racist minstrel shows began in 1828 and grew popular in white crowds. It was also used as a means to satirize Andrew Jackson's populist policies. By 1838, "Jim Crow" had become a pejorative expression meaning "Negro."

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is an educational journey through the history of at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan. It is the nation's largest publicly accessible collection of artifacts of intolerance, displaying a wide variety of everyday artifacts depicting the history of racist portrayals of African Americans in American popular culture. The mission of the Jim Crow Museum is to use these objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.


Take a video tour Walk with Dr. David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the museum.




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1010 Campus Drive Big Rapids, MI 49307 (231) 591-5873


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