The purpose of this blog is to create a place where images of Black Americana can be shared openly with the public since there are no other online galleries at present. Although Black Americana can be controversial, with some people considering it worthy of being destroyed, I believe that these items need to be preserved as reminders of what mankind is capable of. The hatred, prejudice and racism that spurned the creation of many such propaganda has not died completely, rather it pulses today quietly lying in wait like a smoldering fire waiting on the wind.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From The Private Collection Of Mary

The following slide show contains images from the collection of Mary, an antique and vintage collectibles seller. The following are her words:

I'm a 59 year old White person. When I was 20, I was poor, but saw a pair of Black Americana salt and pepper shakers in a shop. They had so much character, and the lady had such a beautiful face, I just had to have them. Thus started my first ever collection....Black Americana. I never thought of the images of being something that could be hurtful, because I was raised that we are all the same, and never saw discrimination on a personal level. Over the years, my sensitivity has increased. I still can't resist buying interesting Black Americana, both for my collection, and for resale. I have met so many wonderful people at the antique shows I've done, through my section of Black Americana. Most of my buyers for it are Black. I've never had a negative comment, and have gained a lot of insight.

Have you heard of Rose Hill? She's a modern day potter, and artist. I met her in the late 90's, and she had these wonderful pieces with the images of the cutest Black children I'd ever seen. Of course, I had to have some of her work! Several years later, she and her work were featured on Oprah.

Here are pictures from my favorite pieces from my collections. I've included pictures of some Rose Hill pieces that are from the 1990's.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jim Crow Museum

The author of The Collecting Gene blogged about the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University. Dana Graves writes, " I first learned about this remarkable, offensive, & worthwhile collection when I read how the collection was compiled."

David Pilgrim, now curator of the museum, was the primary collector:

"Today, I am the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. Most collectors are soothed by their collections; I hated mine and was relieved to get it out of my home. I donated my entire collection to the university, with the condition that the objects would be displayed and preserved. I never liked having the objects in my home."

The following if a video produced by the Jim Crow Museum:

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Images of Genies are prevalent forms of Black Americana.

Post Cards

Many postcards have been produced with very derogatory messages. Here a some examples.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Black Americana Private Collection

Pearl, of PearlShops4U, shared some of her private collection online in slide show format. She also shared her thoughts about why she collects them. Here is an excerpt:

For me, the images of an uncomfortable past are a great source of knowledge, understanding, even pride. The fact that my grandparents and their grandparents had lived, struggled and rose above a society so entrenched in hatred, myths and stereotypes has been a great source of inspiration in my life.

I realized that rescuing and preserving this slice of history is an honorable obsession. To reach the heights, to climb the difficult mountains of everyday life, we must understand and draw upon the strength of our ancestors. Our manifest destiny has been written and carved out of the uncomfortable past.

Do you have a private collection of Black Americana that you could share in our virtual museum? Please email blackamericanamuseum [at] gmail [dot] com, we'd love to display it for all to see.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Aunt Jemima Syrup Containers

Aunt Jemima syrup containers were abundantly produced and are common antique shop finds. They are plastic with a small handle on the back of the head that must be lifted to pour syrup.

Also pictured at top of photo is a reproduction salt shaker.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

Salt and Pepper shakers depicting Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose or Moses (commonly available at antique stores,) were produced in various styles.