America's Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) has confirmed that an anonymous donor has agreed to donate millions of dollars to help the museum open an adjacent building for academic purposes. In a statement, the Museum Authorities have said that the funding would be carried out in two phases, as the ABHN would be expanded for public use in first phase. The second phase would focus mainly on supporting the "long-term goals of sustainability and development of the museum to ensure the mission and vision can be carried out in perpetuity".
According to the statement, the museum officials will soon reveal more details about the donation through the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, as the new museum space, situated at 401 W North Avenue, would be inaugurated on February 25, 2022.
The ABHM recently acquired the adjacent 36,900-square-foot building for $950,000 for academic programming. The donation will allow the concerned authorities to expand and enhance "the exhibits in the building", apart from "completing all necessary additions, upgrading and re-opening" the museum.
It may be noted that late James Cameron, who had survived a lynching in 1930 at the age of 16, founded the original ABHM in Milwaukee in 1988. His main aim was to explore under-told stories of the African-American experience, and to highlight the harmful legacy of slavery. Cameron passed away in 2006, aged 92.
The museum had to close its doors because of the Great Recession in 2008. However, it has been providing virtual programming since 2012. The ABHM authorities have acquired the new space at the crossing of Vel R Phillips Avenue and North Avenue as part of its larger mixed-use project. As per the statement, the ABHM's strategic plan, prepared by consultant NMBL Strategies, "provides a roadmap to growth and sustainability for generations to come". The new galleries will take visitors on a chronological journey through the four centuries of history of African-Americans from pre-captivity to the present.
It seems that the 'Black Lives Matter' Movement has encouraged the anonymous donor to fund the ABHM project. Although the movement had begun in July 2013, it returned to national headlines and gained global attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020, following his murder by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. In the last couple of years, not only Blacks, but also a section of Whites have taken to the streets, demanding equal treatments for the Afro-Americans, who have enriched the US History in various ways.