MI Black History: A Museum of Local Black History

Q: Where is the James Jackson Museum of African American History?

A: Muskegon. The museum was originally named the Muskegon County Museum of African American History, but it was renamed in honor of a local physician and activist in 2012. The museum has a unique emphasis on the history of African-American families in Muskegon County, many of whom moved to the area during World War II to work in factories supporting the war effort. Several of these workers came from Southern states, and experienced culture shock upon arriving in Muskegon. With limited housing in the area, many of the workers were only able to rent beds for eight hours at a time, while others slept in local parks. By 1943, the situation had become so dire that a local court ordered that factories could receive no more new recruits until housing improved. Following the war, many of these families chose to stay in Muskegon.

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