Mobile ‘Bus-eum’ Brings Research on Racism, Lynchings to Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial

This former school bus was transformed into this back in 2019, creating a walk-through collection of information and artifacts.

DULUTH, Minn.- A mobile museum that travels the country to educate the public on racial violence such as lynchings throughout history stopped in Duluth this week.

The TRACES Center for History and Culture “Bus-eum” parked by the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial.

This former school bus was transformed into this back in 2019, creating a walk-through collection of information and artifacts.

The executive director says he discovered while researching the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s that his great grandfather was a member in Iowa.

He says he wanted to better understand why lynching was even seen as acceptable, and how to keep social conflicts from escalating to hate and violence.

“One of the ways to effect power or try to save it was to say basically if you don’t do what we want we’re gonna lynch you, Executive Director Michael Luick-Thrams said “And we’re gonna silence you.”

“And it’s a moral tale for today, if we don’t heal some of the social antagonism between different camps where will that head to?” he said.

The exhibits highlight other examples of violence based on race, religion, political views and more.

Some who stopped in after viewing the CJM Memorial say this mini museum is an eye-opening experience.

“Going into the bus and watching the video was very helpful like I said to learn about the Ku Klux Klan, learn about the hanging in Omaha, they even shared a cartoon from 100 years ago of somebody building a wall,” said Monica Kocourek, visiting from Minneapolis.

“And watching the Ku Klux Klan just made me think of some of the white supremacy we see now, seeing some parallels to that,” she said. “And that’s frightening.”

Tuesday was the last day the “Bus-eum” was in town. But organizers say you can also find digital versions of the videos and exhibits online.

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