America’s Black Holocaust Museum (401 W. North Ave.) was founded in 1984 by the only known survivor of a lynching, Dr. James Cameron. Following the Great Recession and Dr. Cameron’s death, the museum’s doors closed, and its exhibits moved primarily online.
Now the museum doors are open once again to provide racial understanding, reconciliation, and healing. Let’s explore the make-up of this Bronzeville neighborhood treasure.
The Gathering Place
As you enter the museum, a gathering space emerges capable of hosting events as well as talks with museum griots, named for the West African tradition of storytellers.
A small hut offers a glimpse of life in Africa before African people were kidnapped and taken to America via the Middle Passage.
The Auction Block
Stand on this recreation of an auction block, symbolizing where African captives were put on display to be sold like cattle.
A rope hanging from this artistic representation of a tree brings to mind the “Strange Fruit” that Billie Holiday sang of as visitors peruse exhibits about the Reconstruction Era and Jim Crow.
I Am Somebody
Civil rights efforts nationwide and locally are the focus of this exhibit that pays homage to Milwaukee civil rights leaders such as Vel Phillips, in addition to civil rights groups like the Milwaukee Commandos.
Black America Today
From the election of America’s first Black president to Black Lives Matter to mass incarceration, modern challenges and successes are explored.
Article originally published on 1/15/2022