"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.


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. Omaha Civil Rights Movement
  2. Timeline of Race and Racism
  3. Redlining
  4. Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Liberties, or 4CL
  5. Mob Terrorism in Omaha
  6. Black Association for Nationalism Through Unity (BANTU)
  7. Omaha DePorres Club
  8. Omaha’s Black Panthers

Notable African Americans in Omaha

  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
  11. Mildred Brown

Nonprofits, Churches and Social Clubs

  1. Historic Black Churches in North Omaha
  2. Beverly Blackburn and the JFK Rec Center
  3. Near North YMCA
  4. The Elks Club
  5. Colored Old Folks Home
  6. Zion Baptist Church
  7. Druid Hall
  8. Gene Eppley North Omaha Boys Club
  9. St. Benedict’s Church and the Bryant Resource Center
  10. Run, Johnny Run Youth Center
  11. Midwest Athletic Club

Public Places

  1. Spencer Street Public Housing Projects
  2. Logan Fontenelle Public Housing Projects
  3. North 24 Street, aka “The Deuce”
  4. Segregated Schools in Omaha
  5. Tech High School 
  6. The Old Carter Lake
  7. Malcolm X Memorial Park aka Kountze Park
  8. North High School
  9. 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 Theater
  11. Ames Theater
  12. The Ritz Theater
  13. The Bookmobile
  14. Street corner doo-wop groups in North O
  15. Dailey’s Liquor Store at North 30th and Spencer Street
  16. Kellogg’s Gas Station on North 24 Street
  17. Phillips Gas Station on 30th Street
  18. Goodwin’s Barbershop at 24th and Spencer
  19. McDonalds at North 24th and Cuming
  20. Hinky-Dinky Store at 24th and Lake Street
  21. Kellom Swimming Pool
  22. Former Charles Street Public Housing Projects
  23. EZ Drive In
  24. Safeway Stores
  25. Pigley Wigley Stores
  26. The Snack Stop
  27. Merritt Drug Store at North 24th and Charles Street
  28. The record store at North 24th and Charles Street
  29. The “American Legion” dances
  30. The Ritz Cab Company
  31. “Jit-Nies” underground cabs
  32. Cross Town Pawn Shop
  33. Dairy Queen
  34. Peter Plenty Ice Cream Truck
  35. Mister Softy Ice Cream Truck
  36. Fried Fish Sandwiches at North 24th and Spencer Street
  37. Tastee Freeze on North 30th Street
  38. Hilltop Public Housing Projects
  39. The Christ Child Center talent shows
  40. YWCA dances
  41. Metoyers Bar-B-Ques
  42. Off-Beat Club at North 24th and Lake
  43. Allens’ Showcase Lounge at North 24th and Lake Streets
  44. Tully’s Clothing Store
  45. Storz Beer Company on North 16th Street
  46. Cross Town Bar
  47. Bali -Hi Bar at North 24th and Charles
  48. Voyal Watson
  49. Corby Park
  50. Dreamland Ballroom
  51. CoCa-Cola Plant at North 30th and Spencer
  52. Green Hill (aka Bedford Hill) on North 30th Street…
  53. Lothrop Drug Store at North 24th & Lothrop Streets
  54. Slim Jenkins Place dances at North 16th and Lothrop
  55. Teen Holiday dances at North 24th & Corby Streets
  56. Mr. Corbin’s Popsicles
  57. Parades
  58. 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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