The article, available in both the online and printed publications of the Shepherd Express weekly paper, was written by Willy Thorn in his regular Off The Cuff column. The column features individuals who are doing unusual things in the Greater Milwaukee community. Below are some of the responses to the questions Willy Thorn posed to ABHM’s Reggie Jackson.
“What is the Black Holocaust?
From the 1500s through the 1880s the Transatlantic Slave Trade brought 12-15 million Africans to the Western Hemisphere. It remains the single biggest trade in human beings in history. Only 3%-5% came to the U.S. About 40% went to Brazil. Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica were big. Africans were also sold in Europe, the Middle East and India.
How does Milwaukee fit? Housing, employment and educational discrimination were widespread from the arrival of the first blacks in the 1840s. Restrictive covenants disallowed selling or renting to blacks outside designated areas. A century later, nearly every black person in the city lived between Third and 12th streets, and Juneau and Clarke. Milwaukee’s movement to end housing discrimination spurred a federal Fair Housing Act. Segregation in Milwaukee’s public schools led to a Supreme Court decision in 1976.
How does the Black Holocaust continue?
Unemployment has been at least double that of whites for as long as statistics have been tracked. Blacks are disproportionately arrested for drug crimes, even though whites have higher rates of drug use. Higher poverty, infant mortality and insufficient health care mean shorter life expectancy. Several banks were charged with discriminatory lending during the subprime crisis. And then there are prisons…
What does a virtual museum offer that a physical museum doesn’t?
A much broader audience, for one; 86 different nations have visited already. Our scholars can answer visitor questions directly, personally and extensively. We have user-generated content, too. There is a “Memorial to the Victims of Lynching,” for instance, and users contribute information about victims’ lives. You can also download videos [and] readings, and link to relevant websites.”