George Wells Parker (1882-1931) was an important voice for Black pride, self-determination and Afrocentrism in North Omaha in a period when the Near North Side was extremely segregated, Omaha was extremely racist and the city plainly didn’t want to change.
Parker was 34-years-old when he started recruiting African Americans from the South to move to Omaha, in 1916. In 1918, he wrote an important book called Children of the Sun.
In 1921, lawyer Harrison J. Pinkett hired Parker to be editor of a new Black newspaper called The New Era. However, Parker and Pinkett fought constantly about politics and the positioning of the paper within Omaha’s African American community. Parker wanted more radical politics and an Afro-centric position, and since Pinkett didn’t want to go in that direction, Parker left. It was just a year later when he established a paper called The Omaha Whip. Parker accused Pinkett of associating with the Omaha’s Ku Klux Klan and calling on Omahans to support Mayor James C. Dahlman and the rest of Dennison’s machine. However, The Omaha Whip only printed a few editions and then disappeared. No copies of the paper are known to exist today.
During that same time period he founded the Hamitic League of the World, an organization promoting Afrocentrism, which eventually evolved into the African Blood Brotherhood.
George Wells Parker died at age 49, and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. In 2019, the City of Omaha dedicated Parker Street in North Omaha to his legacy.
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- George Wells Parker on Wikipedia