Contribute to our Capital Campaign

Please join our


by helping to build ABHM’s new museum –

a center for history education and dialogue, arts and culture!

ABHM Head Griot Reggie Jackson speaks about American history. Photo: Dr. Fran Kaplan

• Click the button below to make an ONLINE DONATION*

• Become a member of our LEGACY BUILDERS SOCIETY.*

• Learn about NAMING OPPORTUNITIES* or schedule a VISIT with a CAMPAIGN TEAM MEMBER by contacting 

Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel


kcoyromano (at)



*ABHM is operated by the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Unrestricted gifts are accepted at all levels and are tax-deductible.

The History & Impact of ABHM

Our History

How ABHM Came to Be

Dr. James Cameron in the museum he established at the age of 74. Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dr. James Cameron, who survived a lynching as a teenager in 1930, dedicated his life to helping America realize its promise of liberty and justice for all. An early civil rights activist, he fought racial segregation in 1940s Indiana. After moving to Milwaukee, Cameron published a memoir about his lynching and coming of age during the Jim Crow era. He traveled the country educating audiences at high schools, colleges, and other venues about American history seen through the lens of these personal experiences. He was inspired to establish the America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) in 1988 after visiting the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. ABHM’s purpose: to promote the acknowledgement of African American history from pre-captivity to the present as an integral part of US history. Dr. Cameron believed that the truth would set Americans free and make real racial repair and reconciliation possible.

A Place of Pride in Bronzeville (1984-2008)

ABHM bdg ext

ABHM occupied this building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1998 to 2008.

For more than twenty years ABHM stood as a cultural cornerstone in Milwaukee’s historic Black Bronzeville neighborhood, annually educating hundreds of schoolchildren, as well as local, national and international visitors of all ages and backgrounds. It served as a point of pride and meeting place for diverse communities in an otherwise highly segregated city.

Sadly, Dr. Cameron passed away in 2006, and the museum closed during the Great Recession of 2008.

Reborn Online – and Beyond Walls (2012-present)

Four years later, a community task force picked up his mantle. They established the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation, which restored ABHM by putting it online.

Like the physical museum, ABHM’s Virtual Museum shares little-known stories chronicling six historical periods: pre-captivity in Africa, the slave ship voyages, slavery, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and the present. It currently comprises some 3,000 web pages of exhibits consisting of interpretative text, still images and videos, original documents, music, works of art, user-generated content, and a blog aggregating history-in-the-making, as reported primarily in the black press.

More than 3.5 million educators, students, and the general public from over 200 countries click on each year. ABHM’s griots (docents) have extended its museum-beyond-walls by engaging thousands of people annually in public history programming and interracial dialogues in libraries, churches, businesses and community organizations.

Restored to a Brand New Building (Summer 2018)

ABHM will be re-established on its old footprint on 4th & North Avenue in Milwaukee WI. The apartment building above it in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood will be called The Griot, in honor of ABHM founder and lynching survivor, Dr. James Cameron.

Now America’s Black Holocaust Museum is coming home to a brand new physical facility – on the ground floor of the newly constructed Griot Building, named for Dr. Cameron – on the very footprint it previously occupied on 4th and North Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ABHM will reopen as a vital component of the City of Milwaukee’s commitment to and investment in the Bronzeville Culture and Entertainment District. As part of a redevelopment project that includes affordable housing and community spaces, this museum will serve as a national model of how public history, arts, culture, and commerce can work in unison to spur economic growth and cultural vitality.

ABHM’s Local, National and International Impact

Desperate Racial Disparities Prevail in Milwaukee and Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the most segregated metropolitan area in the country. A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, concluded, “Children of color face enormous barriers to educational and financial achievement — with Wisconsin ranking last in the disparity between white children and their non-white peers.”  Community leader, historian and ABHM Head Griot Reggie Jackson observes, “The black holocaust is ongoing. There is continued discrimination in housing and jobs, and schools are still segregated.” Unfortunately, Wisconsin has now become the worst place for African-American children to live.

ABHM Brings Hope for Interracial Dialogue, Repair, and Reconciliation

Located in the Milwaukee’s historically black Bronzeville District, ABHM brings a unique history, heart, authenticity, and leadership to the ongoing national conversation about our nation’s tenacious racial disparities – and helps citizens become active participants in racial repair and reconciliation.

The last thirty years have seen a global boom in memorial museums like ABHM, as people around the world struggle to make sense of and heal from traumatic periods of man’s inhumanity to man. ABHM is one of over 200 members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, which help countries move from memory to action.

The museum’s programs reliably attract packed houses from and within diverse communities. ABHM griots (oral historian-docents) present much sought-after programs that include intergroup dialogues, workshops, lectures, multimedia presentations, panels, book talks, and arts and cultural programs. The griots’ experiences affirm Dr. Cameron’s conviction: there is a palpable hunger to learn how we got here and how we can heal our future. ABHM’s proven methods of interpreting conflicted history through facilitated dialogue provide safe spaces for delicate discussions.

The Museum’s Reach is Global in Both Physical and Cyber Spaces

Our new world-class facility will draw visitors from around the world, as did the earlier ABHM. The museum is situated on the northern edge of Milwaukee’s revitalizing downtown, near our city’s new sports arena, trolley line, conference center and other tourist attractions and accommodations.

A racially/ethnically diverse crowd speaks up at an ABHM Griot To Go presentation about the impact of segregation in Milwaukee.

ABHM’s virtual museum significantly extended our impact on national and international audiences. ABHM griots will expand their work with schools, universities, churches, community-based and arts organizations; develop curricula; lead regional and national conferences; and spearhead collaborative projects within and among groups that are racially, ethnically, socio-economically, and generationally diverse.

To support ABHM’s work, consider making a tax-deductible contribution:

• Click the button below to make an ONLINE DONATION by check*

• Become a member of our LEGACY BUILDERS SOCIETY.*

• Learn about NAMING OPPORTUNITIES* or schedule a VISIT with a CAMPAIGN TEAM MEMBER by contacting 

Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel


kcoyromano (at)

Thank you so much!

*ABHM is operated by the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Unrestricted gifts are accepted at all levels and are tax-deductible.

ABHM: A Key to Revitalization of MKE’s Historic Bronzeville

A Catalyst for the Revitalization of Arts and Culture

Maures Development Group, LLC, the only female and minority-owned development business in Wisconsin, is redeveloping almost an entire block of abandoned buildings. The $17.4 million project will transform the site into a vibrant mixed-use campus as a catalyst for the reestablishment of the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood’s culture and entertainment district.

The Bronzeville community was once a thriving African American economic and cultural hub. In the 1960s, however, hundreds of homes and businesses were demolished for the proposed Park West Freeway, which was never built. Subsequently, the once-thriving commercial corridor deteriorated, as property values plummeted and buildings fell into disrepair.

Development Planned in Two Phases

The historic former Garfield school building will be redeveloped for 30 units of high-quality, mixed-income housing.

In Phase I, the schoolbuilding will be reborn as the Historic Garfield Redevelopment Project, comprised of 30 units of high-quality, mixed-income housing. In Phase II, the adjoining vacant properties will be demolished and developed as the The Griot, a newly constructed building with 41 residential units and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.

The commercial space will house America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM), one of Milwaukee’s most revered cultural institutions, which shares the African American story as part of U.S. history and supports racial repair and reconciliation. The museum will re-open its doors in Summer 2018, and is projected to bring over 10,000 visitors annually into the Bronzeville neighborhood.

“The Garfield project and the re-emergence of the America’s Black Holocaust Museum are certain to be catalytic for the Bronzeville Cultural, Arts and Entertainment District,” stated Alderwoman Milele Coggs. The City of Milwaukee first identified the Garfield Project in its 2005 Bronzeville Cultural & Entertainment District Plan.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs (L) and Maures Development Group’s Melissa Goins proudly announced the historic redevelopment project in May 2016.

Located just a mile from major downtown investments, including the new Bucks Arena, the Historic Garfield redevelopment will help connect downtown’s growth to the Bronzeville neighborhood. The project is forecasted to create over 115 jobs through construction, property management and the museum. In addition, 40 city residents will receive on-the-job training through an innovative partnership with Employ Milwaukee and the Northcott Neighborhood House.

Maures Development Group, LLC, is a commercial real estate firm that has developed a reputation for innovative projects focused on historically neglected neighborhoods. From the onset, the company’s holistic strategies of combining new construction, sustainable features and social partnerships with neighborhood organizations have delivered Maures a multitude of praises for community impact.

*America’s Black Holocaust Museum is a program of the nonprofit Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation.

Naming Opportunities for New ABHM Exhibits & Programs






 To join, contact Karen (414-964-1843 or kcoyromano)



 Places & Programs Naming Opportunities

• (YOUR NAME) Fellowship for Civil Rights: $4 Million

Your tax-deductible gift creates an endowment fund to provide America’s Black Holocaust Museum with sustainable funding in perpetuity for leadership in racial repair and reconciliation.

• (YOUR NAME) Presents Bridging Past & Present: $1.5 Million

Your gift creates a high-tech educational immersion experiences for individuals/groups to include videos, virtual reality, touch screens, and opportunities to record their personal stories.

On Founder’s Day 2016, ABHM presented 3 historic anti-lynching one-act plays to over 500 people from around Greater Milwaukee.

• (YOUR NAME) Bronzeville Community Room: $750,000

This public gathering space will host ABHM’s performances, presentations, and special exhibits. It will also be available for rental by community organizations.

• (YOUR NAME) Presents ABHM’s Virtual Museum: $75,000

The ABHM online museum currently comprises over 3,000 exhibits. Scholars, curators, and student interns add new content every week. Your gift will help modernize, maintain, and grow this unique site.

• (YOUR NAME) Community Admissions Program: $25,000

Your tax-deductible gift supports daily museum admission for eligible individuals and families.


Exhibit Naming Opportunities 

• (YOUR NAME) presents Through One City’s Eyes: $50,000

Examines the complexities of how people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives live side by side in separate communities through the lens of the most segregated metropolitan area in the US.

JC in Beloit 1974_Troy Freund cropped

©1974 Photo courtesy of Tony Freund.

• (YOUR NAME) presents Tribute to Dr. Cameron: $25,000

Illuminates the extraordinary life and legacy of Dr. James Cameron, lynching survivor, autodidact, author, civil rights activist, and founder of the America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

• (YOUR NAME) presents The Middle Passage: $50,000

Reveals the realities of the largest forced migration in human history.

• (YOUR NAME) presents Cultures and Communities Before Captivity: $25,000

Displays the rich cultures of African societies leading up to European colonization and enslavement.       

Slave Auction 1855

• (YOUR NAME) presents From the Auction Block: $35,000

Interrogates the realities of the auction block and economics of slavery through an immersive, multi-media experience.

• (YOUR NAME) presents At the Hands of Persons Unknown: $25,000

Looks at one of the most traumatic aspects of African Americans’ post-slavery experience: the 100-year epidemic of lynchings.

• (YOUR NAME) presents We Shall Not Be Moved: $10,000

Tells under-told stories of the Civil Rights struggle and its accomplishments, including Milwaukee’s leadership role and national impact.

• (YOUR NAME) presents And Still We Rise: $10,000

Presents current events that shed light on African Americans’ ongoing challenges and triumphs.

• (YOUR NAME) presents Tools for Survival: $25,000

Celebrates the role music, the arts, and other cultural forms have played in the survival and resilience of the enslaved and their descendants through the centuries.

• (YOUR NAME) presents In This Together: $10,000

Weaves visitors interactively into the vast tapestry of individuals and institutions across the country and around the world working on the exposition of African American history and culture.


To discuss your naming opportunity, please contact

Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel


kcoyromano (at)


To contribute to the cause in an another way, please consider these options:

• Click the button below to make an ONLINE DONATION*

• Become a member of our LEGACY BUILDERS SOCIETY.*

Thank you so much!

*ABHM is operated by the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Unrestricted gifts are accepted at all levels and are tax-deductible.

Support for ABHM and the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation

Our organizational partners, collaborators, sponsors and supporters include businesses, advocacy groups, service groups, religious congregations, young professionals, fraternities and sororities, sports franchises, foundations, government officials, and individual donors. This is a partial list:

US Rep. Gwen Moore in a an ABHM-produced video speaking to the importance of republishing Dr. Cameron’s historic memoir, A Time of Terror.

The Honorable Gwen Moore, Congresswoman representing Wisconsin’s 4th District, and other local, state, and national elected officials have consistently demonstrated their support for the Legacy Foundation and its programs, including America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

New organizations and individuals join the ranks of our supporters daily. We look forward to welcoming you to the America’s Black Holocaust Museum family. Thank you for your commitment to ABHM’s mission.

If you wish to join our supporters, you can:

• Click the button below to make an ONLINE DONATION now*

• Become a member of our LEGACY BUILDERS SOCIETY.*

• Learn about NAMING OPPORTUNITIES* or schedule a VISIT with a CAMPAIGN TEAM MEMBER by contacting 

Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel


kcoyromano (at)


*ABHM is operated by the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Unrestricted gifts are accepted at all levels and are tax-deductible.

The Cameron Legacy-Builders Society


Until his death in 2006, Dr. James Cameron personally told the story of his narrow escape as a teenager from death by lynching to many ABHM visitors. He felt God saved him to help America live up to its ideals of liberty and justice for all. He became an early civil rights pioneer, factory worker and store owner, historian and author, museum founder, and father of five college educated children.

Through the generosity of individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations, America’s Black Holocaust Museum honors and memorializes people of African heritage in United States as the resilient survivors of a holocaust – and major contributors to our country’s economic, social, and cultural development.

ABHM also pays tribute to the contributions, past and present, of all those working to advance racial justice, repair, and reconciliation.

Dr. James Cameron addressed US Senators and descendants of lynching victims in Washington DC, 2005.

Members of the Legacy-Builders Society commit themselves to carrying the racial repair and reconciliation work of ABHM founder, Dr. James Cameron, into the future by making a regular gift of sustaining support.

Your annual tax-deductible charitable gift helps bring world-class exhibitions, public education and programming to national and global audiences, and provides critical support to our museum operations.

On behalf of the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Board of Directors and staff, we thank you for your commitment and investment in the ongoing work of racial repair and reconciliation.

To become a Legacy-Builders, please contact Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel, at 414-964-1843 or kcoyromano (at)




Other ways to contribute:

Karen Coy-Romano, Campaign Counsel


kcoyromano (at)

Thank you so much for your generous support!

*ABHM is operated by the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Unrestricted gifts are accepted at all levels and are tax-deductible.