2/16/2009
 
New Course Focuses on Little-Known Role of Blacks in the Holocaust
 

HOUSTON, TX (Feb. 16, 2009) Among the millions of Holocaust victims were Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and those who were handicapped. But, the story of one more group of victims whose Holocaust stories are not often told is now finding its voice through the collaborative effort of Texas Southern University (TSU) and Holocaust Museum Houston.

TSU, the second largest historically black college in the nation, launched a new class with the cooperation of the Museum that will allow students to explore the role of blacks in the Holocaust.

"Anytime we can open our doors to college students who want a more in-depth education on the Holocaust, we are fulfilling the wishes of our founders," said Susan Myers, executive director of HMH.

The aim of this collaborative course "Blacks and the Holocaust" is to contribute to the dialogue between Jews and blacks and to contribute to the studies of black history, the Holocaust in general and particularly the role of blacks in the Holocaust.

Myers described the significance of intercultural dialogue between the Jewish and non-Jewish community. "The Holocaust was allowed to happen because the non-Jewish community in general did nothing, therefore it is important everyone learn not to be a bystander," Myers said.

Dr. Alioune Deme, the adjunct history professor at TSU who developed the course, stated in the class syllabus that the history department at TSU is attempting to highlight one of the biggest crimes against humanity in efforts to eliminate ignorance.

In addition to combating overall ignorance about the Holocaust, Deme described what he perceives to be an ignorance concerning blacks’ roles during the Holocaust.

The idea for the class was born one year ago when Deme discovered that his African history students were unaware that there were black victims of the Holocaust.

"There is no surprise that the topic of blacks and the Holocaust is unknown by the public in general and by people of African descent in particular,” he said. “This is very unfortunate because African-Americans exiled in pre-Nazi Germany, Afro-Germans, Africans in Nazi Germany and African-American soldiers have a strong but untold and missing history that needs to be preserved, revealed and taught," he added.

Senior political science major April Brantley took the class last year and said she was eager to learn about the role of blacks in the Holocaust and added that she still has an interest in learning about the subject, even now that the class is over.

"The concepts of antisemitism and anti-black share a commonality in the belief of inferior races displayed historically by those who believe in a 'superior race,'" Brantley said.

The class, which meets from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on Tuesdays at TSU and Thursdays at the Museum, is comprised of 11 students, one of whom is senior history major Camesha Scruggs.

"I hope I come away from this course with more than my limited knowledge of the Holocaust," Scruggs said.

Deme said he hoped teaching TSU students about the Holocaust and its untold history will produce students, activists, scholars and leaders who will cultivate values like respect for human rights, peace, justice, pride in black history, and rejection of modern-day genocide, racism and antisemitism.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org .

 
Media Contact
 
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ira D. Perry
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Tel: (713) 942-8000, ext. 103
Mobile: (832) 277-5693
E-mail: news@hmh.org

Our Public Relations team is eager to assist you in coverage of activities at Holocaust Museum Houston.

All requests for interviews or on-site photography or videography by members of the media must be coordinated in advance through our Public Relations office by calling 713-942-8000, ext. 103 or e-mailing news@hmh.org.


Address and Directions
 
Holocaust Museum Houston
Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004-6804
Phone: 713-942-8000



Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston's Museum District.

Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
 
The Museum is open to the public seven days a week.

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.


The Laurie and Milton Boniuk Resource Center and Library is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Library is closed Sundays.

The Museum is closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For other holiday hours, visit the "Events" tab on the Museum’s Web site at www.hmh.org.

Effective April 15, 2014, admission rates for Holocaust Museum Houston will change. Please note the new rates:

Members FREE
Children under age 6 FREE
Students age 6-18 FREE
College-level with valid school ID FREE
Seniors age 65+ $8
Active-Duty Military $8
General Admission $12

Holocaust Museum Houston is free each Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Memorial Day (May 25, 2015), D-Day (June 6, 2015), Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 2014) and International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27, 2015).

E-mail Page Sitemap Legal Notice Our Sponsors
Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004-6804, Tel: 713-942-8000, E-mail: info@hmh.org Powered by Nodus Solutions
Rss Feeds RSS Feeds Plan Your Visit   About HMH    Exhibitions   Events   Membership   Education/Outreach   Resources   Store   News/Media   Support HMH