Wednesday, June 14, 2006

FINALLY - James Cameron; Survived Lynching, Founded Museum


Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb in The Washington Post" James Cameron; Survived Lynching, Founded Museum"

James Cameron, 92, who at 16 survived being lynched from a maple tree in Marion, Ind., and decades later was present when the U.S. Senate apologized for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching laws, died June 11 of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Milwaukee.

Mr. Cameron, who kept a piece of the rope that had scarred his neck moments before he was spared, was the only known survivor of a lynching attempt. An astute student of history, he lectured widely and in 1988 founded the Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee.

The museum, one of the first of its kind in the country, explores the story of African Americans from slavery to the present. Mr. Cameron started the museum in his basement, and it gained widespread support as a venue of reconciliation. [...]

In his autobiography, Mr. Cameron recalled the raw, inhuman sound of the mob, which included members of the local Ku Klux Klan. He once said he still could remember the faces of the 2,000 white people who gathered there, some with their children. Some eating. He prayed for his life.

Then, as the noose grew tighter around his neck, a voice called out: "Take this boy back. He had nothing to do with any raping or shooting of anybody."(read more)


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Sly Civilian said...

a very moving story...i just wish the NYT didn't talk about it like "Last Civil War Veteran Dies." Its not over...

At 2:17 PM, Blogger hysterical blackness said...

NOT the NYTImes though. That paper hasn't published a word about this.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger kactus said...

I'm very fortunate to live within walking distance of the Black Holocaust Museum, which James Cameron founded, and to have met him and spoken with him many times. The NYT may not have mentioned him, but his death was big news in Milwaukee. His body was laid in state at the museum and his funeral, which was held on Juneteenth, was attended by hundreds.


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