Milwaukee Cultural Sites
Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1988 by Clayborn Benson, III, it presents exhibits which speak to the many contributions of African Americans to Wisconsin and European Americans who helped our ancestors escape slavery. This community resource is also an archives for rare historical artifacts and a scholars library; George Gist’ fourteen panel mural traces African Americans from Egypt to Milwaukee. What strikes you most are the African American labor struggles exhibits. In one of the genealogy classes, you may be surprised to learn of your ancestors connection to Wisconsin. Call to schedule a visit, donations appreciated.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri 12p-6p, Sat 9a-2p
ADDRESS: 2620 West Center Street, Milwaukee, WI MAP
City Ballet Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Allen Gartrell, who studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, was Artistic Director for this dynamic dance troupe. They also tutor 75 students a year in ballet, modern jazz, and African dance. Call for performance schedule.
ADDRESS: 3908 West Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI MAP
DESCRIPTION: Organizes, what is arguably the nation’s largest Juneteenth festival celebrating the freedom of our enslaved ancestors; the festival is held on MLK Drive between West Center and West Burleigh. Northcott Neighborhood House coordinates the event.
ADDRESS: 2460 North 6th Street, Milwaukee, WI MAP
Ko-Thi Dance Company
DESCRIPTION: Created in 1969 by Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker, a native of Sierra Leone, this ensemble is dedicated to the preservation and performance of traditional African-American and Caribbean dance and drumming; offers classes in dance and drumming and a children’s performing ensemble; the company boasts a national and international touring history in Tokyo, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Florida Disney World
ADDRESS: performs at various venues around the city
Hansberry-Sands Theatre Company
DESCRIPTION: Wisconsin’s oldest professional African American theatre company; home of the annual Black Nativity play; call for performance schedule and venue locations
TICKETS: most tickets are $15 or less
ADDRESS: 929 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI MAP
America’s Black Holocaust Museum
DESCRIPTION: The museum was founded in 1988 by the late Dr. James Cameron, America’s longest living recorded survivor of a lynching. Permanent exhibits include: African Peoples Before Slavery, Kidnapped: The Middle Passage; Nearly Three Centuries of Enslavement; Reconstruction: A Brief Glimpse of Freedom; One Hundred Years of Jim Crow; I Am Somebody: The Struggle For Justice; Now Free At Last? and other special touring exhibits. The most interesting aspect of the museum are the Griots who explain the Black Holocaust on your guided tour. You will be spellbound, if not transformed by the experience which takes a look at the real history of America’s experience with black folk. In its dual role as a cultural center, the museum hosted the Afrocentric wedding of Anthony and Zakiyah’s son in 2005. It has moved to larger new building and will retain a gift shop with books on slavery and racism.
DAYS & HOURS: Re-opens after COVID
ADDRESS: 401 West North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI MAP
PARKING: free parking on the side