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Reflections on GCC's Field Trip to America's Black Holocaust Museum

by Tony Keys


On Saturday April 13, 2024, members of Germantown Community Coalition took a field trip to America's past with a visit to America's Black Holocaust Museum (AHBM) located in the heart of Milwaukee at 401 W. North Ave.


The trip included a tour of the museum which was guided by one of the museum's griots, Cathy Nemerovski. “Griot” (pronounced GREE-oh) is the French name given to the oral historians of West Africa who passed on knowledge of local history, customs and culture.

 

Nemerovski guided our group in a thought provoking, educational, thorough, and very emotional insight to the African American experience. From the arrival of the very first slaves to America in 1619 to the conditions African Americans endured, as well as their contributions to and hardships in America to the present day. 


The tour covers the dangerous and risky route of the Transatlantic slave trade to America, the period of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Movement, and finally the conditions of the ancestral descendants of those original slaves today. 


The tour lasted about an hour and was very user friendly, with floor to ceiling photos of the various eras, actual artifacts and documentation that can be viewed as well as some small booths to view videos.


The tour of ABHM left our group with a better understanding of not just the experience of the African American diaspora in the U.S., but specifically in Milwaukee. The tour allowed for questions and discussions along the way. It was a fun event and I highly recommend it to everyone.


Tony Keys is a current board member of the Germantown Community Coalition.


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