Spotlight on: 'Dr. James Cameron' & 'America's Black Holocaust Museum'
Dr. James Cameron
-- founder of America's
Black Holocaust Museum
Dr. James Cameron was the founder of
America's Black Holocaust Museum
-- which is located in Milwaukee, WI.
Dr. Cameron was also the author of the book
A Time of Terror, which is an autobiography of
Cameron's personal ordeal with racism at the
hands of a Ku Klux Klan organized lynch mob.
In August, 1930, when Cameron was 16
years old, he and two teenage friends
were falsely-accused of the murder
of a young White man in Marion, IN.
As a result, Cameron and his two friends were
subjected to a brutal beating and lynching by a mob
of 15,000 at the Grant County Courthouse Square.
Cameron witnessed the deaths of his
friends, but, miraculously, somehow young
Cameron survived the attempted lynching.
Yet, because of the criminal 'charges' against him,
he was 'immediately sentenced and served time
in a state prison' before his "parole" four years later.
Ironically, no one was ever accused, arrested or
charged with the murders of Cameron's teenage
friends, nor for the severe beating Cameron suffered.
Because of his personal experience, Cameron has dedicated
his life to promoting civil rights, racial unity and equality.
His commitment is evidenced by his founding the first chapters
of the NAACP in Indiana during the 1940sa time in which the
State of Indiana was notes as the Ku Klux Klan capital of America.
Cameron went on to establish and become the first president
of the NAACP Madison County Branch in Anderson, IN.
Additionally, Cameron also served as the Indiana
State Director of Civil Liberties from 19421950.
In this capacity, Cameron reported to the Governor
of Indiana, violations of the "equal accommodations"
laws to end previously mandated-segregation.
During his eight-year tenure, Cameron investigated
over 25 incidents of civil rights infractions and faced
many acts of violence and death threats for his work.
His civil rights work in Indiana provoked repeated
threats of violence against him and his family.
By the early 1950s, the continual emotional toll
caused by these threats prompted Cameron to
search for a safer home for his wife and children.
He decided to relocate to Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, Cameron continued his work in civil
rights by assisting in protests to end the system
of segregated housing in the city of Milwaukee.
At the national level, Cameron participated in both marches
on Washington in the 1960s, the first with Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., and the second with Dr. King's widow Coretta.
From 1955 to 1989, Cameron published literally hundreds
of articles and booklets detailing civil rights and occurrences
of racial injustices, including What is Equality in American Life?;
The Lingering Problem of Reconstruction in American Life:
Black Suffrage; and The Second Civil Rights Bill.
Cameron founded America's Black Holocaust Museum in 1988
to document the injustices suffered by the people -- who were
of any part African heritage -- within the United States.
His inspiration is now one of the largest musuem with a
primary focus on the African-American Ethnic grouping
in the country and receives over 50,000 annual visitors.
Dr. James Cameron passed away
June 11, 2006 at the age of 92.
His mission and vision -- of an America that
is free of the evils of racism -- will continue on.