In each Gallery of this museum you will find exhibits reflecting one or more of our Four Themes: Remembrance, Resistance, Redemption, and Reconciliation.
In every Gallery we remember important historical events and people. Some of these are well-known, but most are not. The stories told in most of ABHM’s exhibits have been left out of our history books or been told incompletely. These are stories of:
People of African descent in this country have been targets of injustice for five hundred years, but they have not been simply victims. At ABHM we also remember the many ways that black people and freedom-loving white people have resisted injustice.
Redemption is the act of saving – or being saved – from sin, error, or evil. Sometimes one person redeems another, or many others. Sometimes people redeem themselves. We tell the stories of both kinds of redemption.
ABHM’s founder, Dr. James Cameron, said that people should “forgive but never forget” injustices perpetrated against them. He believed that hatred “poisons the hater from within.” He taught that accepting the truth about our past sets us free to build a better future. Cameron encouraged us to remember and to speak honestly and respectfully about our shared racial history. He believed this would lead to racial reconciliation and dreamed that Americans of all backgrounds would become “one single and sacred nationality.”