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

Black History in Omaha

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.

Issues

  1. Fast Facts About African Americans in Omaha
  2. Timeline of Race and Racism
  3. Redlining
  4. Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Liberties, or 4CL
  5. African American Politics
  6. Mob Terrorism in Omaha
  7. Segregated Schools in Omaha

People

  1. David Rice and Ed Poindexter
  2. Ernie Chambers
  3. North Omaha Riots
  4. Murdering Vivian Strong
  5. Lynching George Smith
  6. Jack Johnson
  7. Clarence Wigington
  8. Community Leaders
  9. Framed: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO and the Omaha Two Story” a series by Michael Richardson
  10. Eugene Skinner

Nonprofits, Churches and Social Clubs

  1. Historic Black Churches in North Omaha
  2. Beverly Blackburn and the JFK Rec Center
  3. The Elks Club
  4. Colored Old Folks Home
  5. Black Association for Nationalism Through Unity (BANTU)
  6. Omaha’s Black Panthers
  7. Zion Baptist Church
  8. Druid Hall
  9. Gene Eppley North Omaha Boys Club
  10. St. Benedict’s Church and the Bryant Resource Center
  11. Run, Johnny Run Youth Center

Public Places

  1. Spencer Street Public Housing Projects
  2. Logan Fontenelle Public Housing Projects
  3. North 24 Street, aka “The Deuce”
  4. Tech High School 
  5. The Old Carter Lake
  6. Malcolm X Memorial Park aka Kountze Park
  7. North High School
  8. Monmouth Park School

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

 

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. Great Fishing around North Omaha for carp, cat fish and bull heads
  8. The door-to-door milk men in North Omaha
  9. The door-to-door ice cream men in North Omaha
  10. Lothrop Grade School
  11. Horace Mann Jr. High
  12. Howard Kennedy Grade School
  13. Lake Grade School
  14. Saratoga Grade School
  15. Kellom Grade School
  16. Sacred Heart School
  17. Long Grade School
  18. Druid Hill School
  19. Long School
  20. Franklin School
  21. Lothrop Theater
  22. Ames Theater
  23. The Ritz Theater
  24. The Bookmobile
  25. Street corner doo-wop groups in North O
  26. Dailey’s Liquor Store at North 30th and Spencer Street
  27. Kellogg’s Gas Station on North 24 Street
  28. Phillips Gas Station on 30th Street
  29. Goodwin’s Barbershop at 24th and Spencer
  30. McDonalds at North 24th and Cuming
  31. Hinky-Dinky Store at 24th and Lake Street
  32. Kellom Swimming Pool
  33. Former Charles Street Public Housing Projects
  34. EZ Drive In
  35. Safeway Stores
  36. Pigley Wigley Stores
  37. The Snack Stop
  38. Merritt Drug Store at North 24th and Charles Street
  39. The record store at North 24th and Charles Street
  40. The “American Legion” dances
  41. The Ritz Cab Company
  42. “Jit-Nies” underground cabs
  43. Cross Town Pawn Shop
  44. Dairy Queen
  45. Peter Plenty Ice Cream Truck
  46. Mister Softy Ice Cream Truck
  47. Fried Fish Sandwiches at North 24th and Spencer Street
  48. Tastee Freeze on North 30th Street
  49. Hill Top Public Housing Projects
  50. The Christ Child Center talent shows
  51. YWCA dances
  52. Metoyers Bar-B-Ques
  53. Off-Beat Club at North 24th and Lake
  54. Allens’ Showcase Lounge at North 24th and Lake Streets
  55. Tully’s Clothing Store
  56. Storz Beer Company on North 16th Street
  57. Cross Town Bar
  58. Bali -Hi Bar at North 24th and Charles
  59. Voyal Watson
  60. Corby Park
  61. Dreamland Ballroom
  62. CoCa-Cola Plant at North 30th and Spencer
  63. Green Hill (aka Bedford Hill) on North 30th Street…
  64. Lothrop Drug Store at North 24th & Lothrop Streets
  65. Slim Jenkins Place dances at North 16th and Lothrop
  66. Teen Holiday dances at North 24th & Corby Streets
  67. Mr. Corbin’s Popsicles
  68. Parades
  69. 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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Published by

Adam F. C. Fletcher

I'm a consultant, writer and speaker who teaches people about engaging people. I specialize in youth engagement, student voice and personal engagement. I also research and write about the history of North Omaha, Nebraska. Learn more at adamfletcher.net.

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