Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors: Stories from the Jim Crow Museum

Pilgrim, David
Publisher:  PM Press
Date Written:  01/12/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Pages:  272pp   Price:  $24.95   ISBN:  978-1-62963-437-1
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX22805

Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors uses images from the Jim Crow Museum, the nation's largest publicly accessible collection of racist objects. These images are evidence of the social injustice that Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as "a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be exposed to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured." Each chapter concludes with a story from the author's journey, challenging the integrity of racial narratives.

Abstract: 
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Publisher's Description:

"Pilgrim's book is a well-researched, comprehensive, and ever-present documentation of where we've been and where we still are. All of America needs to confront these injustices in order to put them where they belong, in the past, not the present."
- Philip J. Merrill, CEO and founder of Nanny Jack & Co.

"Undergirding David Pilgrim's effort is his powerful belief that we, as a society, heal better when we stare down the evils that have walked among us, together."
-Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

"In its compelling reimagination of the museum experience, the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia leverages the potential of museums to effect positive social change in a troubled world. By creating a forum for the safe exchange of ideas, Jim Crow transforms its campus and the world it inhabits, one visit at a time."

"This book allows us to see, even feel the racism of just a generation or two ago--and Pilgrim shows that elements of it continue, even today. See it! Read it! Feel it! Then help us all transcend it!"
- James W Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me

"As the title implies, the book isn't merely an exercise in shock value. It lays out the philosophy behind Pilgrim's work as a scholar and an activist: that only by acknowledging these artifacts and their persistence in American culture can we honestly confront our not-so-distant past."
- Dave Gilson, Mother Jones on Understanding Jim Crow
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