America’s Black Holocaust Museum, shuttered since 2008, will re-open as a virtual museum on February 25, 2012, in honor of the birthday of its founder James Cameron, the only known survivor of a lynching. The opening website is only the first phase of what will be a cutting-edge 21st century online museum geared to the general public, scholars, teachers, and students aged 13 and up.
The interactive museum will tell the seldom-told stories of Africans brought in chains to America, their descendants, and the freedom-loving whites who tried to help. The story, stretching from before Africans’ captivity by European slave traders to the present day experiences of African Americans, will be told through dozens of scholar-curated exhibits.
These will include text, photographs, videos, art, original documents, learning games, user-generated content and other forms of interactivity. ABHM will contribute to scholarship about the Black Holocaust; provide a safe place for cross-racial dialogue; and promote the highest ideals of American democracy.
On opening day, visitors to www.abhmuseum.org will be able to:
- Explore exhibits in the first gallery to go online, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF JIM CROW, including An Iconic Lynching in the North and Freedom Fighters: They Stood Against the Lynch Mob.
- Dialog with griots (scholar-curators) through the Comments section in each exhibit.
- Pay respects at the Memorial to the Victims of Lynching and contribute information about a victim’s life.
- Upload a video or text about the impact of Dr. Cameron on their lives and thought.
- Dive deeper into the information by selecting readings from detailed bibliographies and following links to relevant websites.
Reggie Jackson, ABHM Board Chair, observes, “Dr. Cameron envisioned our country as ‘one single and sacred nationality.’ He believed that racial equality and reconciliation depend on a thorough, accurate understanding of our history–and a safe place to dialog about it. We are excited to provide access to these for people around our nation and world.”