Pork Stories

Michigan budget gives $5M for collection of racist images

Ferris State’s Jim Crow Museum has taken in $6M from taxpayers over two years

The state of Michigan is granting $5 million from the 2024 state budget to Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery.

This is the second time in two years the museum has received money from the state. It was given $1 million in the 2023 budget, bringing the total to $6 million in two years.

The museum “uses objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice,” according to its website.

The identity of the Jim Crow Museum’s benefactor in Lansing is not known. The grant for the museum came in the form of an earmark, and the released budget does not identify which legislators added items directed at specific districts and projects.

Ferris State’s $13,650 in-state tuition is 20.9% higher than the national average of $11,286, according to US News & World Report. The university raised tuition rates for undergraduates by 3.16% in the 2021-22 school year and by 3.2% in 2022-2023.

Ferris State University will also receive $59.6 million in direct appropriations from the 2024 state budget, meaning the grant for the collection is equal to 8% of the school’s appropriation for the year.

The museum’s collection includes about 20,000 objects related to the Jim Crow era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to an October 2021 Q&A.

Trustees approved $5 million toward a goal of $22 million the museum hopes to raise for an expansion, according to a Feb. 17 university press release. The project would give the museum a 7,500-square-foot area for displaying items as well as hosting conferences, lectures and workshops.

The Jim Crow Museum did not respond to a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.