Expanding the Museum
For nearly two decades the Jim Crow Museum has used contemporary racist and primarily anti-Black artifacts to tell the story of African American resiliency. It is a teaching model which has been wildly successful, and now is the time to expand that story. As we embark on the construction of a new museum, archive, and research facility, we need champions who will help us keep our work moving forward.
Together, a better world is possible.
Overcoming Hateful Things
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting the new traveling exhibit from the Jim Crow Museum, Overcoming Hateful Things. The exhibit runs from June 3, 2023 until September 3, 2023.
Telling a Larger Story
Museum Expansion Project
Help the Jim Crow Museum tell a larger story. Support the museum's expansion into a state of the art facility that will foster critical encounters with artifacts of intolerance and their dreadful impact.
Teaching Tolerance With Objects of Intolerance
The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery 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.
The museum is located on the campus of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Admission is free for all visitors.
Explore the Museum Virtually
Experience the power of a visit to the Jim Crow Museum virtually. The museum's virtual tour gives you the opportunity to discover many of the highlights from our collection.
Critical Encounters: Featured Exhibits
What was Jim Crow?
Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life.
Explore What was Jim Crow?
The Brute Caricature
The brute caricature portrays black men as innately savage, animalistic, destructive, and criminal -- deserving punishment, maybe death. Black brutes are depicted as hideous, terrifying predators who target helpless victims, especially white women.
Explore The Brute Caricature
During the Jim Crow period, African Americans were confronted by institutional discrimination and acts of individual discrimination, and generally treated as second-class citizens. Nevertheless, blacks made significant contributions that enriched the United States.
Explore ATTACKING SEGREGATION
Jim Crow Museum in the News
Overcoming Hateful Things Exhibit to debut at the Grand Rapids Public Museum
Antiques and The Arts Weekly Q&A: Dr David Pilgrim
Questions for the Museum
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had an interesting relationship. Read more in this Question to the Museum
Similar to how gun ownership was highly restricted for African Americans, the ownership of dogs was also regulated, for enslaved people and for free African Americans.
Over the past two years, the decision to rebrand the product resulted in different, often passionate, commentaries and opinions.
Mike Wolfe of American Pickers, recently donated a lunch counter sign from the Union News Company. Read more about the history of the Union News Company.
Many notable Black women contributed to the history of the state of Michigan. This March we will honor their legacy, lives, and accomplishments.
You never hear much about Black classical music composers, can you give some information on some?
I read in Traveling While Black that there was a Jim Crow Travel Kit. Do you have one of the kits at the Jim Crow Museum?
How do the museum staff feel about working with a collection of hateful and hurtful objects?
The Green Book was such a brilliant idea. Did it offer more than just lodging, food, and gas locations?
More to Explore
Support the Museum
Help us keep the powerful experience of visiting the Jim Crow Museum free and accessible to all. Consider supporting the museum today.
Donate artifacts to the museum
Connect with Us
Jim Crow Museum
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307