The Jim Crow Museum itself has hundreds of images of African Americans — usually with very dark skin, blood red grinning lips and raggedy clothes — eating watermelons. These images on postcards, sheet music, ashtrays, and souvenirs are visual expressions of the stereotype of Blacks as ignorant, mindless buffoons. Why worry about persistent patterns of institutional racism and racial economic and health disparities when you can just eat a watermelon? READ

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