Black History in Omaha

"American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it." - James Baldwin

Hi, my name is Adam and I’m a white guy who grew up in North Omaha. While I was growing up, my mentors included Idu Maduli and Von Trimble, Sr. and Rev. Helen Saunders, as well as many other people. These caring, concerned adults made sure I knew that the community’s history was more than what I learned at North High School or McMillan Junior High, or from the Omaha World-Herald and other media. They taught me about things, people, events, places and organizations that mattered to African American history in Omaha, as well as Omaha’s history in general and national history.

Omaha Black History Articles

Following are some of the articles I’ve researched and written related directly to Black history in Omaha. Doing this, I’ve learned that Black history is everyone’s history, because it affects everyone. However, I was taught it is important to acknowledge its power and purpose on its own, too.


African Americans in Omaha

  1. Fast Facts About African Americans in Omaha
  2. African American Firsts in Omaha
  3. African American Politics

Civil Rights, Black Power and Social Justice in Omaha

  1. Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Liberties, or 4CL
  2. Black Association for Nationalism Through Unity (BANTU)
  3. Omaha DePorres Club
  4. Omaha’s Black Panthers
  5. Omaha Urban League, Urban League of Nebraska
  6. NAACP Youth Council
  7. Omaha NAACP Chapter
  8. Emancipation Day and Juneteenth in Omaha

Significant Events

  1. Omaha Civil Rights Movement
  2. The Murder of Vivian Strong
  3. The Lynching of George Smith
  4. The Lynching of Will Brown
  5. Mob Terrorism in Omaha
  6. Timeline of Race and Racism
  7. Redlining
  8. North Omaha Riots
  9. Jack Johnson Riots
  10. An Unsolved Murder in North Omaha
  11. Framed: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO and the Omaha Two Story” a series by Michael Richardson

Community Leaders

  1. Community Leaders
  2. A Biography of Malcolm X in Omaha
  3. Beverly Blackburn
  4. Elizabeth Pittman
  5. Silas Robbins
  6. George Wells Parker
  7. Rev. Dr. John Albert Williams
  8. Mondo we Langa (David Rice) and Edward Poindexter
  9. Eugene Skinner
  10. Mildred Brown
  11. Dan Desdunes
  12. Lucinda Williams
  13. Dr. Marguerita Washington
  14. ‘Cap’ Clarence Wigington

Notable African Americans in Omaha

  1. Historic Crime Bosses

Politics

  1. People from North Omaha History
  2. North Omaha’s African American Legislators
  3. Justin Wayne
  4. Tanya Cook
  5. Brenda Council
  6. Ernie Chambers
  7. George Althouse
  8. Edward Danner
  9. Rev. John Adams, Sr.
  10. John Adams, Jr.
  11. Johnny Owens
  12. Dr. Aaron McMillan
  13. Ferdinand Barnett
  14. Dr. John A. Singleton, DDS
  15. Dr. Matthew Ricketts

Nonprofits, Sports and Social Clubs

  1. Beverly Blackburn and the JFK Rec Center
  2. Near North YMCA
  3. Negro YWCA
  4. The Elks Hall and Iroquois Lodge #92
  5. Colored Old Folks Home
  6. Druid Hall and the Prince Hall Masons
  7. Gene Eppley North Omaha Boys Club
  8. Bryant Resource Center
  9. Run, Johnny Run Youth Center
  10. Midwest Athletic Club
  11. Omaha Colored Commercial Club
  12. JFK Rec Center
  13. Negro Women’s Christian Association of Omaha, aka Near North Side YWCA
  14. Wesley House
  15. Omaha Rockets Independent Black Baseball Team
  16. Segregated Hospitals in Omaha
  17. Provident Hospital

Black Churches

  1. Historic Black Churches in North Omaha
  2. Zion Baptist Church
  3. St. Benedict’s Church
  4. St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church
  5. Mount Moriah Baptist Church
  6. Bethel AME Church
  7. Cleaves Temple CME
  8. Hillside Presbyterian Church
  9. New Bethel COGIC
  10. Mt. Calvary Community Church
  11. Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church

Public Places

  1. North 24 Street, aka “The Deuce”
  2. Segregated Schools in Omaha
  3. Tech High School 
  4. The Old Carter Lake
  5. Malcolm X Memorial Park aka Kountze Park
  6. North High School
  7. Monmouth Park School
  8. Lake School
  9. A History of Public Housing in North Omaha
  10. Spencer Street Public Housing Projects
  11. Logan Fontenelle Public Housing Projects
  12. Hilltop Public Housing Projects
  13. Pleasantview Public Housing Projects

Black Businesses and Money

  1. Black-Owned Hotels
  2. Skeet’s Barbeque
  3. African American Newspapers
  4. KOWH, North Omaha’s Black-Owned Radio Station
  5. The Omaha Star
  6. Bus Garage/Streetcar Shop at North 26th and Lake Streets
  7. Fair Deal Cafe – Omaha’s “Black City Hall”
  8. Reeds Ice Cream at North 24th and Wirt
  9. Carter Lake Amusement Park
  10. Live Wire Cafe
  11. King Solomon’s Mines
  12. Carter’s Cafe
  13. Tic Toc Diner
  14. Blue Lion Center
  15. Carnation Ballroom
  16. Jim Bell’s Club Harlem
  17. The Stage II Lounge
  18. Hillcrest Mansion

Historic African American Neighborhoods in Omaha

  1. Kellom Heights
  2. 24th Street
  3. Near North Side
  4. 24th and Lake Historic District
  5. 24th and Lake
  6. Kountze Place
  7. 30th and Ames
  8. Saratoga
  9. 16th and Locust
  10. 20th and Lake

Other Topics

  1. Bertha Calloway’s talent shows
  2. The Show Wagon in the parks
  3. The popcorn man
  4. The hot tamale man
  5. Negro baseball teams
  6. Carter Lake Ballroom
  7. Lothrop Theater
  8. Ames Theater
  9. The Ritz Theater
  10. The Bookmobile
  11. Street corner doo-wop groups in North O
  12. Kellogg’s Gas Station on North 24 Street
  13. Phillips Gas Station on 30th Street
  14. Goodwin’s Barbershop at 24th and Spencer
  15. McDonalds at North 24th and Cuming
  16. Hinky-Dinky Store at 24th and Lake Street
  17. Kellom Swimming Pool
  18. Former Charles Street Public Housing Projects
  19. Safeway Stores
  20. Pigley Wigley Stores
  21. The Snack Stop
  22. Merritt Drug Store at North 24th and Charles Street
  23. The record store at North 24th and Charles Street
  24. The Ritz Cab Company
  25. “Jit-Nies” underground cabs
  26. Cross Town Pawn Shop
  27. Fried Fish Sandwiches at North 24th and Spencer Street
  28. Tastee Freeze on North 30th Street
  29. Hilltop Public Housing Projects
  30. The Christ Child Center talent shows
  31. YWCA dances
  32. Metoyers Bar-B-Ques
  33. Off-Beat Club at North 24th and Lake
  34. Allens’ Showcase Lounge at North 24th and Lake Streets
  35. Tully’s Clothing Store
  36. Storz Beer Company on North 16th Street
  37. Cross Town Bar
  38. Bali -Hi Bar at North 24th and Charles
  39. Voyal Watson
  40. Corby Park
  41. Dreamland Ballroom
  42. CoCa-Cola Plant at North 30th and Spencer
  43. Green Hill (aka Bedford Hill) on North 30th Street
  44. Lothrop Drug Store at North 24th & Lothrop Streets
  45. Slim Jenkins Place dances at North 16th and Lothrop
  46. Teen Holiday dances at North 24th & Corby Streets
  47. Mr. Corbin’s Popsicles
  48. Parades
  49. Dog House Bar on North 16th Street

Would you like to see more Black history articles on NorthOmahaHistory.com? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Omaha history includes African American history. Learn more at NorthOmahaHistory.com
Omaha history includes African American history. Learn more at NorthOmahaHistory.com

Published by Adam

I am a speaker, writer and consultant focused on youth engagement. I also share the history of North Omaha, Nebraska.

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