Posted on November 28, 2023

Ferris State U.’s Jim Crow Museum Features Tree With Noose, KKK Robes, ‘Whites Only’ Signs

College Fix, November 27, 2023

A large tree with a noose hanging from one of its branches, KKK robes, and “whites only” signs are among the thousands of artifacts on display at a museum at Ferris State University that is undergoing a major expansion project.

The public university in Michigan houses the Jim Crow Museum, which has been part of the campus for many years. Now the vast collection of what the university dubs “racist memorabilia” is slated to get its own building thanks to a capital campaign underway.

Officials are set to break ground on the new building in 2025, according to the museum’s website, adding that so far the campus has raised $14 million of a $22 million goal.

Once the building is complete, the museum can be moved from the bottom floor of the campus library to its own facility. An image of the planned building shows it’s a large, two-story structure.

Ferris State has received $6 millions dollars in state funding over the last two years to help the project along, reported Michigan Capitol Confidential, a publication of the center-right think tank and watchdog group the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The group labeled the use of taxpayer dollars a “pork” project, and pointed out that Ferris State’s in-state tuition is 21 percent higher than the national average and that the university also raised tuition for undergraduates by 3.16 percent in 2021-22 and by 3.2 percent in 2022-23.


Ferris State University also houses a Museum of Sexist Objects.

Officially titled “The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery,” it was founded nearly two decades ago and is home to a collection of around 20,000 objects that depict racism toward African Americans, its website states.

Visitors to the museum, which is open to the public, are greeted with the explanation that the museum uses “objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.”

Many students at Ferris State are required to visit the museum as part of one of their classes. The museum also encourages local high schools to bring students on field trips, which includes a lesson plan that asks educators to help students become aware of their bias.


The university — which is located in a very small city of only 9,000 residents — justifies the expense of maintaining the museum by arguing that the university’s founder, Woodbridge Ferris, was a champion of civil rights and sought to create a diverse institution.