New exhibit, Hateful Things, opens at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center tonight

“Someone will say ‘if you just stop traveling the country talking about race, racism will go away.’ That doesn’t even make stupid sense. The reality is that we won’t be who we need to be until we are mature enough to have the most difficult conversations about race.”

The man who said these words, David Pilgrim, professor and founder of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, will speak at the Sept. 19 opening of the “Hateful Things” exhibit at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

The objects and images in “Hateful Things” trace the history of the stereotyping of African Americans from the late 19th century to the present. The Jim Crow Museum created the “Hateful Things” traveling exhibit as a teaching tool to promote tolerance and social justice beyond the museum’s reach.

“We chose to host this exhibit because we want to help people understand how these types of depictions create a culture of fear and hatred that has led to tragedies like the Elaine Massacre,” MTCC Director Christina Shutt said.

“David Pilgrim’s message concerning open, honest, even painful discussions about race is especially relevant here in Arkansas as we remember the 100th anniversary of the Elaine Massacre,” added Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.