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Jim Crow is a site that hosts Museum of racist memorabilia located on the campus of Ferris State University in Michigan. Its establishment was aimed at display of historical and racial phenomena of interest to scholars and the public in general. The museum has several objectives to both the nature and for public interests which include; promoting and boosting the scholarly and academic examinations that are of historical nature and apply to the contemporary reference to the phenomena of racism. Secondly, it’s tasked with collection, preservation and exhibiting of collections and objects that are related to racial segregation, anti – black caricatures and civic rights. The Ferris State University utilizes the museum as teaching facility in the fields of racial segregation and ethnicity either directly or indirectly. It is also utilized by national and international scholars and teachers as an educational resource. Civic right groups and human right organizations use the museum as resource for their documentations. Lastly the museum is used in efforts to promote and enhance peace, racial understanding and cohabitation as well as the overall healing process (Jim 1).
Relation with sociological theory
Sociology is a social science that deals with the study of societies and their interrelationship and interactions. This study utilizes various and different methodology in its pursuit of social and empirical investigation to arrive at a critical analysis of phenomenon aimed generating and accumulating a body of knowledge and a set of theories concerning interactions of human beings and their social activities. The purpose of these knowledge accumulation and theory development is aimed at pursuit of improvement of social welfare and just society for all mankind when everyone feels and enjoys the entire fundamental human rights and freedoms. Therefore while Jim Crow site analysis the racial segregation and historic ethnic issues with an aim of improving social interactions and relations within the contemporary society, it is closely related with sociological theory which strives to achieve similar objectives. Jim Crow museum utilizes the sociological theory in its attempts to explain the causes, effects and remedies of racial segregation and ethnic tensions between and among communities (Bert and Rosalind 34).
This site is closely related to the issues of social welfare among human beings and their interactions through its historical collection, exhibit and preservation of materials and evidences involving racial segregation and ethnicity. It is also a wealthy pool of knowledge where scholars both national and international as well as students and their teachers can access wide range of historical information concerning racial segregation and ethnicity. Human rights and civic organizations utilizes this site frequently in their quench to see a just and fair society where everyone lives without fear exercising al his fundamental rights and freedoms (Bert and Rosalind 44).
System of Jim Crow
This system contained laws that were commonly known as Jim Crow laws dealing with issues of social and racial segregation and ethnicity. They were enacted and came to be between 1876 and 1965 with a mandate to segregate on racial lines all the public facilities for black Americans and the Whites. The repercussions of these laws were the preferential treatment and accommodations that was done to White citizens in US as opposed to black Americans. The later were offered inferior facilities and services through systematic number of well thought and designed economic, social and educational disadvantages. They came to be implemented and practiced in public places, restaurants, public transportation, accommodation facilities, rest rooms, educational and health facilities where they were separate for Whites and Blacks. This racial segregation also found its way into the military and other security forces like the police. The laws and the overall Jim Crow system was intentional restricted civic liberties and rights of Black American from access to social, political and economic welfare. However Jim Crow system was overhauled completely in 1965 through passage of several civic rights Act the last one being the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Jim 1).
Caricatures and their origin
Caricature refers to a portrait or an exaggerated demonstration that is widely used in literature in a humorous manner to distort the essence and existence of a person, action, behavior and policies. It is also widely utilized in literature to oversimplify some characteristic and exaggerate others. In Jim Crow system, caricatures were widely used to exaggerate the behaviors of blacks and portray them as inhuman in several forms. For instance, Brute caricature demonstrated black men as destructive, innately savage, animalistic, criminal and as people who deserve the cruelest punishment including death. Picaninny caricature was used to portray the greedy and slavery nature of black girls as shiftless and nameless who were compared to natural buffoons always alligators of fried chicken. Tom caricatures expressed the black men’s nature of humility and submissive as slaves and servants to the White. These were also the explanations and regard that were given to black females commonly referred to as Mammy caricature (Jim 1). Therefore caricatures were used in Jim Crow system to demonstrate the inferiority nature of Black American as opposed to Whites (Gianfranco 12).
The widespread usage of caricatures to diminish Blacks in US gave them a brave character that they developed from the liberation efforts especially during the Jim Crow system. The black race in US is very solitary and form one of the strongest movement in the world. This was facilitated by the need for each other when racial segregation and ethnicity was at its highest level. Blacks came together and worked in unity voicing their concerns in a common stand against the injustices and negative perception that they received from the Whites. The use of caricatures had portrayed Blacks as less human being who deserve the worst cruel treatment and likened to animals like monkeys and buffoons. In contemporary society, these are regarded as the strongest race and capable of extraordinary achievements from their struggle and efforts to liberate themselves from slavery and servant hood of Whites not only in the US but also worldwide (Jim 1).