America’s Black Holocaust Museum

America’s Black Holocaust Museum, founded by Dr. James Cameron in 1988, is a program of the nonprofit Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation.

  • Mission: To educate the public about the harmful legacies of the slave trade, enslavement, and Jim Crow in the US – and how we can heal as a nation.
  • Vision: We envision a society that remembers its past in order to shape a better future: an equitable society in which every person is equally valued and cared for, a fully democratic country that is, in the words of our founder, “one single and sacred nationality.”

ABHM is unique among museums dealing with the African American experience in that it frames and memorializes that experience as a holocaust.

Boy at ABHM
A young visitor visits the cargo hold inside the Slave Ship exhibit at ABHM.

The 400-year history of captured Africans and their descendants has many similarities with the Holocaust experiences of European Jews – and other victims of mass atrocities around the world. These include: forced marches and migrations, mass murder, stolen property, dehumanization/devaluation, slave labor, mass incarceration, torture, medical/scientific experimentation, discrimination, race riots (pogroms), lynchings and other extrajudicial killings, and long-lasting physical and psychological effects (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) on survivors and descendants.

ABHM Group
Learning and sharing in small groups during ABHM's Hidden History film/dialogue series.

ABHM helps Americans heal through recovering and acknowledging the truth about the African American experience–information that is, for the most part, lacking in our history schoolbooks. ABHM brings to light the historic and contemporary lived experiences of black Americans through online exhibits, face-to-face community programs and interracial dialogues, and print and digital publications.

Dr. James Cameron
Dr. Cameron, ABHM founder, in his museum.

Dr. James Cameron, who survived an Indiana lynching in 1930 at age sixteen, founded the museum in 1988 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After ABHM’s building closed in 2008, the museum moved entirely online as a virtual museum at

The museum currently displays over 2800 exhibits online, receives thousands of page-views per month from people in over 200 countries, and provides interracial dialogues and public programs to hundreds of people regionally and nationally every year.

ABHM is a volunteer-staffed organization and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience coalition and the Association of African American Museums.

Join the Friends of ABHM to receive email notices of ABHM’s educational events, interracial dialogues, and new exhibits.

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