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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Friday, October 07, 2005

America's Black Holocaust Museum

Milwaukee is home to America's Black Holocaust Museum.

You didn't know there was a black holocaust? That's probably the first thought many people had when this museum was opened. It does make a case for the designation, although I imagine many Jewish people in the area were not pleased.

When enter the building, you walk through a recreation of a slave ship interior. It was a good way to start.

20 million Africans were taken from the continent in three centuries, the largest forced migration in human history. Many of them wound up on boards like this, which were used to show off the "stock" to prospective buyers. Somewhere between 1 to 2.2 million died in transport.

The museum consisted mostly of photos of activists and slaves.

Normally, a museum full of photos would be pretty boring, but the images are shocking. The statistics that go along with them are worse. Between 1882 and 1930, 2,462 African Americans were hanged. That averages out to one per week for 50 years.

No race related museum would be complete without the Ku Klux Klan. This one caught me eye though, as it appears to be a woman under the hood. She's wearing high heeled shoes. I'm not sure if that's an artistic statement, or they just happened to have a female mannequin.

The museum was founded by James Cameron, an African American who -- at the age of 16 -- survived a lynching after being accused of murder. He served some time in an Indiana jail, and the museum shows the actual bars he was locked behind in. Many years later he was pardoned.

If you're in downtown Milwaukee, go check it out. It's only five bucks.

America's Treasures