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March 27, 2019

Joe Verkennes, Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161
(734) 384-4207 (O), (419) 343-3063 (M) 


Goal to Use Objects of Intolerance to Teach Tolerance

MONROE, Mich. – Monroe County Community College's Library is hosting a traveling exhibition on loan from Ferris State University's Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia that showcases items from popular culture used to stereotype different groups.

“THEM: Images of Separation” showcases negative imagery found on postcards, license plates, games, souvenirs, costumes and more throughout history that promoted stereotyping against such groups as Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, poor Whites, African-Americans, as well as those who are "other" in terms of body type and/or sexual orientation.

Through six 3-dimensional and 32 framed pieces, the display tackles some of the most contentious, cultural hot-button issues like anti-Arab sentiment, Holocaust denial, "don’t ask-don’t tell" and immigration.
Dr. David Pilgrim founded the Jim Crow Museum and is its curator.  He makes no apologies for the provocative nature of the exhibit, stating that the idea behind it "is to get people to think deeply."

Pilgrim, who is black, said that the museum has amassed the nation's largest collection of artifacts spanning the segregation era from Reconstruction through the civil rights movement and beyond. The museum's goal is to use objects of intolerance to teach tolerance.

“THEM: Images of Separation” contains graphic images that include racist, sexual, and violent content that visitors may find upsetting. It has been rated appropriate for visitors age 13 and up, but MCCC recommends that parents and guardians preview the exhibit before bringing children. 

The Library is located in the Campbell Learning Resources Center (Building C) on MCCC's Main Campus.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Other scheduled events include an exhibit reception in the Library on Monday, April 1 from 6-8 p.m. and a public showing of "Ethnic Notions," an Emmy-winning documentary, on April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater in the Campbell Learning Resources Center. "Ethic Notions" takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes that have fueled anti-black prejudice.  Both events are free and open to the public.

A student showing of "Ethnic Notions" will take place in the Little Theater on April 9 from 12:30-2 p.m.