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Historic Black leaders in Omaha, Nebraska, from the 1900s

History of African American Politics in North Omaha

The history of African American politics in North Omaha first emerged in the 1870s. It has fluctuated a lot since then, with some periods of a lot of activity (1890s, 1910s, 1950s, 1970s, and 2010s) and other periods with no apparent activity.

This is just a collected history. Someone needs to interview people in and associated with North Omaha’s African American community in order to find the real details behind all of the following events. This type of process will also bring out the details that a broad scan like this cannot show.

Colored Old Folks Home workers, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is 1913 pic shows a group of women who worked at the Colored Old Folks Home.

This list isn’t just about party politics, or local politics. Instead, this list includes political, social, economic and cultural developments that affected African Americans and all Omahans.

Black Politics in Omaha’s First 35 Years (1854-1879)

Izard School, aka the North Omaha School, N. 17th and Izard Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This was the Izard School, aka the North Omaha School, at N. 17th and Izard from 1871 to 1900.

20 Years of Progress: 1879-1899

Vic Walker Omaha Nebraska
This is Vic Walker (1864-19??), an African American attorney, policeman, and criminal figure. This was his pose during police court trials in 1898.
This is the second Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska. George Smith, aka Joe Coe, was lynched here.
This is the second Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska. George Smith, aka Joe Coe, was lynched here.

Tension and Terror in Omaha: 1900-1920

Dr. William W. Peebles, DDS (1883-1958), North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a 1903 image of Dr. William W. Peebles, DDS (1883-1958).

Omaha’s Emerging Civil Rights Movement: 1921-1950

Explosion, Rights, and Neglect: 1951-1980

Dr. Matthew O. Ricketts (1958-1917) of North Omaha was an African American member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1893 to 1897.
Dr. Matthew O. Ricketts (1958-1917) was an African American member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1893 to 1897.

From 1981 to 2005


Timeline of African American Politicians in Omaha

African American Nebraska State Legislators from Omaha, including Dr. Matthew Ricketts, John Andrew Singleton, Ferdinand L. Barnett, Dr. Aaron Manasses McMillan, Johnny Owen, John Adams, Jr., John Adams, Sr., Edward Danner, George W Althouse, Ernie Chambers, Brenda J. Council, and Tanya Cook.
African American Nebraska State Legislators from Omaha, including Dr. Matthew Ricketts, John Andrew Singleton, Ferdinand L. Barnett, Dr. Aaron Manasses McMillan, Johnny Owen, John Adams, Jr., John Adams, Sr., Edward Danner, George W Althouse, Ernie Chambers, Brenda J. Council, and Tanya Cook.

Did you know there have been at least 11 members of the Nebraska Legislature representing North Omaha who were and/or are African American? In my research, I have located…

What would you add? Please share your thoughts, additions, corrections and information in the comments.


You Might Like…

MY ARTICLES ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS IN OMAHA
General: History of Racism | Timeline of Racism
Events: Juneteenth | Malcolm X Day | George Smith Lynching | Will Brown Lynching | North Omaha Riots | Vivian Strong Murder | Jack Johnson Riot
Issues: African American Firsts in Omaha | Police Brutality | North Omaha African American Legislators | North Omaha Community Leaders | Segregated Schools | Segregated Hospitals | Segregated Hotels | Segregated Sports | Segregated Businesses | Segregated Churches | Redlining
People: Rev. Dr. John Albert Williams | Edwin Overall | Harrison J. Pinkett | Vic Walker | Joseph Carr | Rev. Russel Taylor | Dr. Craig Morris | Mildred Brown | Dr. John Singleton | Ernie Chambers | Malcolm X
Organizations: Omaha Colored Commercial Club | Omaha NAACP | Omaha Urban League | 4CL (Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Rights) | DePorres Club | Omaha Black Panthers | City Interracial Committee | Providence Hospital | American Legion | Elks Club | Prince Hall Masons | BANTU
Related: Black History | African American Firsts | A Time for Burning

Elsewhere Online


Bonus Pics!

John Adams, Sr. (1876-1962) of North Omaha served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1949–1962.
John Adams, Sr. (1876-1962) served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1949–1962.
John Adams, Jr. (1906-1999) of North Omaha was a member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1935–1941.
John Adams, Jr. (1906-1999) was a member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1935–1941.
Tanya Cook (1964-present) of North Omaha is an African American member of the Nebraska Legislature.
Tanya Cook (1964-present) is an African American member of the Nebraska Legislature.

11 responses to “History of African American Politics in North Omaha”

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