Breaking News

When the past is present…

“…The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” James Baldwin

 

Deportation of African and Other Black Immigrants Quietly Increasing

By David Love

Wikimedia Commons

Although often not covered in the media, the African immigrant community is facing mass deportations in the era of Donald Trump. While the immigration debate in the U.S. is often framed in terms of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America on the one hand and the infamous Muslim travel ban on the other, the issue is more complicated. As the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency conducts its sweeps on immigrant communities, African people are among those who are being detained and deported. While deportations were in no short supply under the Obama administration, these deportations are expected to soar under Trump, whose immigration ban on six Muslim nations includes three African nations — Libya, Somalia and Sudan. Trump also is clamping down on refugees and asylum seekers.

According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, in 2015, ICE deported 1,293 African immigrants. Since the 2016 election, the ICE raids on Black immigrant communities have intensified. For example, in January, 86 men and women were deported to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, after being detained and imprisoned, as Africanews.com reported. In November, 108 immigrants were deported to Ghana and 20 people also were deported to Liberia, while 53 others were processed for deportation. Earlier this month, ICE deported 130 people to Senegal, six times the number recorded by the agency in its 2016 report.

Read the entire story here

Read more Breaking News here

 

See Award-Winning Film & Support ABHM!

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

(the Theta Zeta Chapter at Marquette University)

proudly presents

the MILWAUKEE PREMIERE of
Service To Man”

to benefit
America’s Black Holocaust Museum

FILM SCREENING & TALKBACK WITH DIRECTOR

Sunday, March 26th – 3:00-5:30pm

MU’s Varsity Theater
1324 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee WI

Buy tickets online: $8/student (grade to grad) – $13/adult
(or $2 more at the door)

MU Students FREE with ID

ABOUT THE FILM: Pressed by his professors and peers at historically black Meharry Medical College, Eli Rosenberg must discover who he really is and what he truly values. A tale both moving and humorous about coming of age as a “fish out of water” in Nashville during the turbulent ’60s.  Inspired by the true story of the first white student admitted to this august African American institution.

Winner of the prestigious American Black Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and

  • Best of Fest at the DC Independent Film Festival
  • Best Feature at the International Black Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Awards at the 2017 Tallgrass and Sidewalk Film Festivals, among others.

The film stars Keith David and Lamman Rucker, both stars of the currently running Oprah Winfrey Network series Greenleaf.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Aaron Greer was born and raised in Milwaukee and educated in Milwaukee Public Schools. His first feature film, Gettin’ Grown, won many awards, including the Audience Choice at the Milwaukee Film Festival, and is distributed by Warner Home Video. Greer is the Director of the Film and Digital Media Program at Loyola University in Chicago where he teaches film studies and production.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FILM:  ABHM Griots Reggie Jackson and Dr. Fran Kaplan will give a brief talk about the relationship between Jews and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), including their rescue from the Holocaust of dozens of Jewish refugee professors.

 

 

Lights! Camera! Action! Shooting the lab scene at an Alabama HBCU, Stillman College, which stood in for Meharry.

OUR MANY THANKS TO:

  • Sigma Gamma Rho (Theta Zeta Chapter) for organizing and staffing this film and fundraiser.
  • Gettin’ Grown Productions LLC for generously donating this film for screening.
  • The Black Lens Program of Milwaukee Film for joining us as a program supporter.

 

Horror Film About Racism Earns Coveted 100 Percent On Rotten Tomatoes

From: Huffington Post Black Voices

Written By: Carla Herreria

Herreria writes:

“‘Get Out,’ a psychological thriller about racism written and directed by Peele, earned a coveted 100-percent score on the film review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.”

In a recent post, “Horror Film About Racism Earns Coveted 100 Percent On Rotten Tomatoes,Carla Herreria expresses critics’ reviews in a newly released horror film titled Get Out that frames racism as the central plot.  

The author also quotes Jordan Peele:

“It just seemed to be a very taboo piece of the discussion to talk about something so horrific as racism in any type of genre other than a film about slavery or something.”

Finally, she quotes Variety critic Peter Debruge’s review:

“[The film] delivers ‘a gloriously twisted thriller that simultaneously has so much to say about the state of affairs in post-Obama America.’”

Read the full article here.

Read more Breaking News here.

 

My Black History: The Case for Black Art in an Anti-Presidential Era

From: The Root

Authored by: Maiysha Kai

Anastasia_Aleksieieva for iStock

InMy Black History: The Case for Black Art in an Anti-Presidential Era”, Maiysha Kai explains the power black art holds in the current political state of the United States.

She explains how, “The Black Arts Movement that followed was a direct response to the loss of our most prominent leaders of the 1960s, as well as our subsequent rejection of the desire to assimilate into any American culture invested in our marginalization. Even hip-hop has origins in the response of black and brown youths to a society that simultaneously disenfranchised and criminalized them en masse, the tenor of which would come to a head in the turbulent rise of “gangsta rap” in the 1990s.” 

Kai explains how African American’s are empowered through their art; letting their art speak social change by being an “expression of resistance but also a visible and visceral expression of the human experience.”

With the loss of an African American President, there is widespread “post-black”  and “post-racial” which in turn is leading to the “rise of black art in America.”

Read more Breaking News from ABHM here!

To read the full article, check out The Root!

 

Chicago Violence Requires A Real Commitment, Not A Passing Presidential Tweet

From: Huffington Post Black Voices

Written by: Rev. Al Sharpton 

In the recent blog post “Chicago Violence Requires A Real Commitment, Not A Passing Presidential Tweet,” Reverend Al Sharpton reflects on gun violence in Chicago and the need for real commitment to address this problem.

Sharpton explains:

“Donald Trump recently met with some supporters and appointees who he misled the press into believing was a meeting with African-American leaders, ostensibly as a form of outreach to our community.”

He continues:
“…it is abundantly clear that Trump is not reaching out to us appropriately, nor getting the correct input on our concerns. We need a real commitment—not a passing presidential tweet.”

SCOTT OLSON VIA GETTY IMAGES

See a video clip here.

Read more about “Chicago’s Grim Era of Police Torture.”

Read more about the relationships among gun violence, power, privilege, and the politics of gun ownership here.

Visit our Breaking News Page here.

 

A More Abundant Share — The Future Of Food Is Black

From: The Huffington Post: Black Voices 

Authored By: Shakirah Simley

“When Life Gives You Lemons” by Kohshin Finley

In the article “A More Abundant Share – The Future Of Food Is Black,” Shakirah Simley explains how food symbolizes deep cultural connections, generational ties to family, and acts as a symbol of power. The good food movement is the idea that, “In a very real sense, the future of food is people. And that future looks a lot like me: a young, black woman, hungry for change.”

According to Simley, the food industry can be found at the root of many issues in society: “When Black and Native American farmers faced decades of systemic bias in access to capital and credit and land loss from the USDA – it’s a food problem.” Simley describes how the “good food movement” has been ignored and pushed away for years because, “our national good food obsession can curate Instagrams of oozing sandwich stacks higher than black folks’ restaurant wages.” However, this movement goes hand in hand with the, “understanding that food injustice parallels racial injustice.”

Efforts have begun to counter this issue, Simley says, “We’re unapologetically disrupting white-dominated artisan food industries and leading our own kitchens.” This article works to repair the food system that for too long has been focused on white based communities.

Read more Breaking News from ABHM here!

To read the full article, check out Huffington Post: Black Voices!

 

Watch: My Black History: Michael Eric Dyson on How MLK’s Assassination Opened His Eyes

From: The Root

Video Created by: P.J. Rickards

 

To commemorate the month of February and its celebration of Black History, Michael Eric Dyson (author, professor, and ordained minister) reflects on how the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. changed Dyson’s perspective on racial injustice.

Dyson’s lesson learned from MLK’s assassination is best summarized as he states,

“…his death, which gave rise to so much in the aftermath, his blood mixed in the soil from it sprouted an entire new awareness and consciousness that led from his assassination to 40 years later to the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.”

Read more about Michael Dyson’s full reflection here.

 

To learn more about social justice organizations and leaders during the Civil Rights Movement click here.

 

Read more Breaking News here

 

Chance The Rapper Finally Won A Grammy. Then Another One.

From: Huffington Post Black Voices

Written by: Lilly Workneh

Chance The Rapper received the Grammy for Best Rap Performance with the track “No Problem.” The win marks the 23-year-old Chicago native’s first Grammy award win in his young, prominent career, in only his first year of Grammy eligibility.

KEVIN WINTER VIA GETTY IMAGES

As Lilly Workneh writes in her article, Chance used his second win of the night to give an impassioned speech:

“‘Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord,’ he said onstage accepting the award for Best New Artist. The rapper also acknowledged what the accomplishment means to him as an independent artist. ‘I know that people think independence means you do it by yourself but independence means freedom. I do it with these folks right here’ he said.”

Chance went on to win three Grammys over the course of the night. Read more about Chance’s historic evening in the full article here.

Read about hip-hop as a gateway to black poetry here.

Read more Breaking News here.

 

Attending College Doesn’t Close Wage Gap and Other Myths

From: The Root (February 6, 2017)
Written By: Kirsten West Savali

In a recent post, “Attending College Doesn’t Close Wage Gap and Other Myths Exposed in New Report,” Kirsten West Savali exposes the sad truths from a study published titled, “Asset Value of Whiteness” that unravels the relationship between race, class, and education.

Source: Asset Value of Whiteness

 

She writes:

“Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy take a deep dive into the intrinsic link between racism and capitalism; specifically, how whiteness infests the so-called American dream and renders it inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t meet the pre-selected criteria.”

Savali quotes Amy Traub, who is the co-author of the report:

“For centuries, white households enjoyed wealth-building opportunities that were systematically denied to people of color. Today our policies continue to impede efforts by African-American and Latino households to obtain equal access to economic security.”

Read the full article here.

While more covert, this sort of “asset value” mirrors the Jim Crow Laws. For an historical, yet contemporary look at discrimination, visit here.

Read more Breaking News here

 

Join Us on February 25, 2017 for ABHM’s Founder’s Day Gathering!

 

 America can heal from its troubled racial history.

Join us to learn how.

The Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation

Our annual Gathering celebrates the legacy of America’s Black Holocaust Museum founder, Dr. James Cameron. In his honor, we bring together people from all corners of Greater Milwaukee for learning, dialogue and fellowship.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Centennial Hall • 733 N. 8th Street • Milwaukee WI


 

This year’s topic:

Let’s Face It: How Communities Remember and Repair Racial Trauma

We’ll explore these questions:

  • How should America commemorate some of the most disturbing chapters of our racial history?
  • How might that commemoration help or hurt victims, perpetrators and bystanders.
  • What role should our museums and institutions play in the work of memory and racial healing? 

 

 

 

MORNING SESSION

9:00 -11:30 am Open to General Public & Sponsors. Tickets on sale here.

 

Introduction: Let’s Face It!

Listen to a short talk by ABHM Head Griot Reggie Jackson about the importance of truth-telling, remembrance, and ABHM’s role as a memorial museum in healing our city and nation.

 

 

 

 

Sneak Preview of a New Film, Always in Season

Experience a premiere preview of a new film that documents how lynching still impacts Americans to this day. It shows how descendants of victims and perpetrators in four communities are working to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile. View the film trailer here and the film website here.

Audience Talkback with Film Director and National Community Experts

Interact with film director Jacqueline Olive.  Jackie creates documentary projects that tell stories underrepresented in mainstream media. She coordinated the production of the Emmy award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, and the internationally-themed documentary series, Global Voices. She will be joined on stage by members of the communities represented in Always in Season. Additional experts from around the country and Greater Milwaukee will also introduce their restorative projects. All presenters will then take questions and comments from the audience. (See the list of additional national and local presenters below.)

 

 

In addition, there will be:

  • Live music
  • Book sales & author signings

 

AFTERNOON SESSION

12:15 – 4:15 pm – Open to Event Sponsors and their guests only.

(Organizations and individuals wishing to become Sponsors, please click here

for Sponsorship Opportunities, Benefits, and Response Form.)

Luncheon Keynote Address: Why Commemorate?

Listen to public historian Doria D. Johnson address the impact of remembering of racial trauma on victims and the ethics of doing such memory work.  An expert in US and African American history, Doria’s great-great-grandfather Anthony Crawford was lynched in 1916.  In 2005 she successfully pressed the US Senate to apologize for failure to enact federal laws against lynching. A memorial to her grandfather was recently dedicated in the town where he was murdered.

 

Roundtables (Small Group Dialoguing and Networking)

Attend two different roundtable discussions of your choice during the afternoon. This is a chance to talk in depth with two of the expert presenters and to network with other attendees who share your interest in particular topics.

(Preview the presenter/topic list below.)

 

 

Action Plans and Closing Ceremony

We’ll gather as a full group to reflect on:

  • what have we learned from other communities,
  • what might Greater Milwaukeeans do to as a result of this Gathering, and
  • how can we support each other in repairing and healing our community?

 

Our Roundtable Facilitators

Henry Banks (Duluth MN) – Mr. Banks co-founded the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Project in Duluth, MN, the downtown memorial plaza built by this small city built to commemorate the infamous lynching of three circus workers. Henry is also the host of the regular weekly People of Color talk show on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Karen Branan (Washington DC) – Ms. Branan is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated memoir The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth. Karen has long been active in Coming To The Table, a national organization that pairs descendants of lynching perpetrators and victims, as well as slaveholders and enslaved people, for the purpose of repair and reconciliation.

 

Randy Gamble (Memphis TN) – An anti-racism activist for many years, Mr. Gamble is a leader of the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis. LSP is part of Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize over 4,000 known lynchings in our country between 1877 and 1950 through local community remembrance projects and a new national lynching memorial. The Memphis lynching of three black men launched Ida B. Wells on her anti-lynching campaign; Randy and the Downtown Clergy Association are organizing a 125th anniversary commemoration of those victims.

Cassandra Greene (Atlanta GA) – Ms. Greene is Director of the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching re-enactment, which has, for the last seven years, commemorated the victims of that lynching in a small town in Georgia. That re-enactment is featured in the film Always in Season and can be seen in its trailer. Cassandra is also founder/CEO of the W.I.T.N.E.S.S. PROGRAM/ W.O.W.W. where she teaches communications and serves as a minister in Georgia’s State and Federal prisons.

 

Pardeep Singh Kaleka (Franklin WI) – A former Milwaukee cop, after his father was killed by a white supremacist in the Sikh Temple massacre, Mr. Kaleka paired up with a former violent white power extremist to found Serve2Unite, which teaches schoolchildren peacemaking through the Sikh principles of Chardi Kala: fearless creative compassion, service to others, and relentless optimism in the face of adversity. Pardeep is also a psychotherapist at the D & L Healing Center, where he specializes in treating trauma.

Brad Lichtenstein (Milwaukee WI) – An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Mr. Lichtenstein is developing a feature film that digs into unsolved Klan murders of black men in Mississippi. Despite the 2007 Emmett Till Act giving the FBI $100 million to investigate these crimes, their families have no answers. The murderers walk free. The film explores whether and how the trauma of unresolved violence can be healed.

 

Erin McCarthy and Colleen Perry (Greendale WI) – Middle school teachers in a white suburb of Milwaukee, Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Perry persuaded their principal and students’ parents of the value of regularly teaching African American history as a part of – not a sidebar to – American history. Erin and Colleen present history as a complex story of complex people in America’s complex society and teach it by building empathy, defining race and developing the whole child.  Through their inquiry-based curriculum, they build responsible citizens and communities.

Warren Read (Seattle WA) – Author of the memoir, The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History, Mr. Read offered public apologies to each of the families of the three circus workers lynched in Duluth on the occasion of the dedication of the memorial to them there. Warren is also an elementary school teacher and educational leader/administrator.

 

Maria Cunningham and Jordan Davis (Milwaukee WI) – Active volunteers with the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation, Maria serves as the Foundation board’s Vice-President and Jordan as a Public Programming Administrative Assistant. Milwaukee Public Library’s Rare Books Librarian, Ms. Cunningham led the project to digitize the dozens of booklets on African American history and race relations by Dr. Cameron, and created and manages a traveling exhibit about his life and writings for the museum. Mr. Davis is a Distinguished Graduate Student Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program. His research interests center on public and local history, heritage resource management, and the museology of Africa and the African Diaspora.


 

EVENT SPONSORS

(as of 1/4/16)

VISIONARY SPONSOR

This event is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

 

 

HISTORY SCHOLAR SPONSOR

 

 

 

FREEDOM-LOVING SPONSOR: BARBARA STEIN

 

 

WITNESS TO HISTORY SPONSORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEYNOTE SPONSOR

 

 

 

 

FILM SCREENING & AUDIENCE TALKBACK SPONSORS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE SPONSORS:

Dr. Russell Brooker

Bev Colton

Marquette University’s

  • Office of Community Engagement
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion