Officials of the Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin say an anonymous $10 million donation will help re-open the museum, which was founded by lynching survivor Dr. James Cameron in 1988, local news outlet WISN reports.
The museum reportedly closed in 2008 after the economic recession and the founder’s death. It is set to open during Black History Month next year.
According to a city website, the museum “builds public awareness of the harmful legacies of slavery in America and promotes racial repair, reconciliation, and healing.”
Virgil Cameron, son of the museum’s founder, told WISN “[w]hen I first heard about [the donation], it was just mind-blowing.”
This is some good news for the Black community in southeastern Wisconsin, which has endured unrest and police violence, along with decades of economic downturns. Most recently, the shooting of Jacob Blake put Kenosha, a town 45 minutes from Milwaukee, in the national spotlight when a white vigilante, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot protestors and was acquitted of all charges in November.
Prior to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Milwaukee experienced social unrest and protests after the police killing of Sylville Smith in 2016 and Dontre Hamilton in 2014, who was shot 14 times by a police officer.
The Black Holocaust Museum is located in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood, and the new funding has allowed museum officials to purchase an additional building in the area.