Skip to main content Skip to footer

February 5, 2020

SVSU Black History Month event showcases history of racism and ‘Hateful Things’

PilgrimThe painful and racist legacy of Jim Crow-era America will be on display as part of Saginaw Valley State University Black History Month-themed events featuring historians sharing with the community about the “hateful things” from the nation’s past. 
At the center of that series of events will be guest speaker David Pilgrim, founder of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University. Elements of that museum will be on display as part of a traveling exhibition at SVSU’s Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum that opens prior to Pilgrim’s keynote presentation — titled “Hateful Things” — scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
This presentation , sponsored by the SVSU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, is free and open to the public. 
Jim Crow laws were segregation laws, rules and customs applied after Reconstruction ended in 1877 and continued until the mid-1960s to restrict African-Americans' freedom and wages. The segregation — between blacks and whites — was enforced with signage in parks, public transportation, cemeteries, theaters and restaurants. 
The traveling exhibition at SVSU will be open to the public during a kick-off event Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. in the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. Ken Jolly, SVSU professor of history, will present a brief history of the "Hateful Things" exhibit there. This event also is free and open to the public.  
Then there will be an exhibition reception — titled “Hateful Things: An Evening with Dr. Pilgrim, founder of the Jim Crow Museum” — on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. There, Pilgrim will sign his book, “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice.” Free refreshments and a cash bar will be provided. This event, co-sponsored by the SVSU Office of Diversity Programs, is free and open to the public. 
Pilgrim is the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum, the nation’s largest, publicly accessible collection of racist objects, located at Ferris State University. There, he serves as vice president for diversity and inclusion.
Pilgrim has been featured by media outlets such as NPR, Time, BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times.
For more information about the “Hateful Things” traveling exhibit, go to
A TEDx Talk video featuring Pilgrim discussing the origins of the museum is available at the following URL: