Thursday, January 10, 2008

The History of Jim Crow

American writer and author James Baldwin (1924-1987) once said: "American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it."

This post provides additional on-line resources to compliment class discussions about the history of Jim Crow.

The first link will take you to the website of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Michigan. Dr. John Thorpe is the Museum Director and Dr. David Pilgrim is the Curator.

Read about the museum here, and more about the history of Jim Crow here and here. In short, this museum seeks to collect artifacts from the Jim Crow period, promote critical scholarly analysis, and offer teaching resources for education and racial healing.

The museum has a traveling exhibit, "Hateful Things," and you can view selected images from the exhibit here and here.

In addition to class discussions about the museum, its aims, and the power of historical memory, we will also view selected scenes from the documentary "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow." See the stories and links pages also. In class we will examine the geography of Jim Crow at this page, and trace out its history here.

[Photo credit here.]


Anonymous said...

shelby was here

Nikolas said...

Well this really just displays to me how twisted man truly is I am not surprised just a little saddened considering that we attack each other when really everyone bleeds red, desires purpose, desires love I question everyday how if we share so many similarities how we can hate each other so much. If we were to peel away our skin we all really look the same melanin is the only thing that makes our skin appear different. Such materials like posters that make black people appear more like animals or plays that make them appear to be completely ignorant. Part of the reason our society is in such decline is because we embraced such media and ideas now in current day the same thing can be said about some of the popular music in America. Take a look at rap music which most of it contains messages about women treated as objects, dealing drugs with no fear of the lives it ruins or simply making the life of a street thug admirable it's so confusing in a way it reflects the Jim Crow idea that people of our society cannot go higher than just the ghetto or the hard life on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Nick, your comment was very well thought out and very true. We are all people. we all have hopes and dreams, but sometimes we dont see eye to eye. It is our job to stand up for kindness and show compassion in the midst of turmoil. I did not know how the name "jim crow" oridinated until today. I must say that the story of how they came to be disgusted me. Its disturbing to think that people would be so cruel as to rudicule the helpless and innocent.
Mary Papasakelariou

Anonymous said...

I really think that the Jim Crow laws were terrible. Why would the whites make laws just to make blacks lives worse than they already were. This was a very bad time in American history.
josiah tour

Paige said...

In my opinion, the Jim Crow Laws served both injustice and justice to the nation. "JUSTICE???," you might inquire. Yes. Justice. You see, although the Jim Crow Laws were entirely unconstitutional, according to the principals that this country rests upon, they still served a purpose in the advancement of Black Rights in America. Who knows??? Without the Jim Crow Laws, slavery still might be acceptable in the eyes of Americans...that is if they hadn't eventually seen how cruel slavery was and is in the first place!!! But, there are many different factors to be taken into account for a claim such as this to be correct. Thanks for letting me share!

Anonymous said...

I think learning about Jim Crow is good mainly because its easy to forget about all the things that happened in the past. sometimes, we do really need a reminder of what happened in order to move on with a clear head. It really is appalling to see how the white people treated the black people as animals. As if they were unclean, they were excluded from white society. Segregation was just the status quo. I am really glad that we have made so much progress

-A. Elliott

Anonymous said...

The Jim Crow character displays the discrimination against African Americans in America. The segregation of whites and blacks destroys America's main goal of unity . -shelby

Anonymous said...

I think its aweful the way blacks were constantly embarrased and treated like animals. All people deserve equality and the way they were treatedwas far from equal to the whites. I just can't understand why or how racism even came about. And to think that lynching was just casual during this period is sickening.

Anonymous said...

that was me. -Logan h