February 5th, 2016
David Pilgrim bought his first racist artifact when he was 12, and swiftly broke it in front of the vendor. But now the professor, museum founder and self-described “garbage collector” thinks there’s a better way to destroy bigotry.
His Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia features roughly fourteen thousand items — selected both for how shockingly racist and ordinary they are. Postcards, magazine ads, collector plates, and even cocktail mixers showcase America’s deep-seated racism under segregation.
Today Pilgrim joins guest host Gill Deacon to discuss the power of displaying racist objects as a group, why people struggle with how contemporary they are, and how he’s using the “contemptible collectibles” to promote social justice.
His new book about the project is called Understanding Jim Crow.