About Tony Carr
Tony Carr began collecting black memorabilia about twenty years ago. Most of the 500+ pieces he has amassed are so vile you may want to turn away. But Tony prefers you to take a good, hard look.
A "Colored Waiting Room" sign hangs on one wall; a package of “Pickaninny Peppermints” and a “Nigger Head Stove Polish” tin are on display along with a figurine depicting a black baby being used as alligator bait; and there’s a postcard from 1920 featuring a caricature drawing of a black man morphing into a watermelon with the words “Evolution of a Coon.”
Most of the items he’s acquired are degrading, offensive and distasteful. But Tony says they’re a reminder of what others had to endure to clear the path he now travels.
Tony wants to share these dehumanizing images in an effort to teach others about the struggles his parents and grandparents and many other African-Americans had to endure.
Tony Carr grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin and excelled in athletics. Two decades ago he was busy becoming the all-time leading scorer for UW-Eau Claire’s basketball team. He went on to become a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball trial team. In 1982, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.
But it turns out Tony had more on his mind. He soon became disillusioned with professional basketball and wanted more out of life. After a dream in which his grandfather said to him, “It’s time to move on, time to look for your purpose” Carr left the Bucks and a contract with Converse and went to work for Merrick, Inc., where he spent 18 years working with the developmentally disabled, and where he even started a basketball camp.
Today, Tony works as a Major Gifts Officer for the American Red Cross Twin Cities Area Chapter. He has served as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission in Stillwater, Minnesota. He was also a member of the Washington County Mental Health Advisory Board, and currently serves on the Washington County Community Corrections Board. Tony was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Tony lives in Stillwater with his wife and four daughters.