Mark Metcalf

America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopens online

By - Mar 28th, 2012 11:46 pm

Dr. James Cameron weeping at his pardon ceremony in Marion IN, 1993. (Photos courtesy America’s Black Holocaust Museum)

Virgil Cameron

Dr. James Cameron, the inspiration, founder and guiding light of America’s Black Holocaust Museum, was lynched at the age of 16 in Marion, Indiana. Cameron survived and devoted his life to raising Americans’ consciousness and conscience about the atrocity of lynching. The museum was open on 4th Street in Milwaukee from 1988 until 2008, when budgetary constraints forced the museum to close, but by no means did that mean it was gone for good.

Fran Kaplan

Earlier this year, Fran Kaplan, along with James’ son Virgil, led a group to revive the museum online, and the site went live on February 25.

I had the chance to talk with Fran and Virgil about the museum’s new website  (, Dr. Cameron’s astounding journey, and the struggle for justice that endures to this day.

Listen now:

[audio:|titles=Backstage with Mark Metcalf – Fran Kaplan, Virgil Cameron, America’s Black Holocaust Museum]

America’s Black Holocaust Museum now posts daily news stories, such as the Trayvon Martin case, about how the struggle for freedom and equality still continues on the site’s “Breaking News” page, which can be seen here.

For more on the story of Dr. James Cameron, click here. The video below is the introduction to America’s Black Holocaust Musuem, which can also be seen on the museum’s home page.

This conversation is part of Backstage with Mark Metcalf‘s ongoing conversation on race in Milwaukee, called “We don’t go past the bridge”: A Discussion on Race in MilwaukeeClick here for part one with poet Dasha Kelly, here for part two with Marquette student Tommy Walls, Jr., here for part three with Tony Baez of the Council for the Spanish Speaking, here for part four with Dewayne Boothe, Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, and here for part five with Margaret (Peggy) Rozga and Javaris Bradford. 

Backstage with Mark Metcalf” is recorded at the ThirdCoast Digest office in the Shops of Grand Avenue.

Subscribe to these podcasts through iTunes here.

0 thoughts on “PODCAST: America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopens online”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad that the museum is “open” again. I have had a notification on my email for any news concerning the museum. It is such a wonderful museum and there is too much in it to be lost. An aside — while I was researching information on the Marion lynching, I discovered that my great uncle may have been a member of the KKK. I was raised in Richmond, Indiana, where I found that in the 20’s, 45% of Richmond population were members of the klan (even ministers.) I was appalled to find that all out. Best wishes for a success in this endeavor.

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