University to engage in dialogue on race: Founder of Jim Crow Museum to speak April 11

April 8, 2019 | Events, News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Bailey Sparks

Dr. David Pilgrim, an expert in racist expressions in history, will come to campus Thursday, April 11, to give a presentation titled “Dialogue on Race: Jim Crow and ‘Blackface’ in the 21st Century.”

Dr. David Pilgrim at the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University

He will speak on the national dialogue concerning the issues of Jim Crow and blackface within the broader discussion of race and racism in America. The talk will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Law Center Auditorium; doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Pilgrim is the vice president of diversity and inclusion, as well as the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University.

The Jim Crow Museum is the largest collection of publicly accessible racist memorabilia. The collection includes more than 12,000 racist artifacts that are used to teach tolerance and promote social justice.

Pilgrim has worked extensively in race relations and inclusion in books and documentaries, including “Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors,” “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice,” “Jim Crow’s Museum,” “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” and Will Smith’s “All of Us.”

“I would like individuals to leave the presentation with an understanding of both the historical and contemporary meaning of blackface as an expression of racism, and also that this presentation can spark an honest dialogue on the broader issues and implications of racism in society,” says Angela Siner, director of the Africana Studies Program.

This free, public event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, the Africana Studies Program, and the Dean of Students Office.

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