Research compiled by: Karelle L., Ebony M., Jonathan T., Joseph Beard and LeClara Gilreath
By 1931, Pilgrim Baptist Church was established on the corner of 25th and Hamilton in North Omaha. The church, started by migrants from Alabama, was now flourishing with members active in developing the North Omaha community and the church itself. The picture shows some members of the congregation participating in Vacation Bible School in 1931 (Photo courtesy of Durham Western Heritage Museum).
One of the many roles of the African-American Church is to provided different services to the community. For example, on February 9,1938 Zion Baptist Church opened a health clinic to serve the black community. This is important because church members were involved with this health clinic and it shows black churches being involved with the community (Photo courtesy of Douglas County Historical Society).
In this photo, the cook at Pilgrim Baptist Church is cooking food for the needy. This is important because it shows the commitment of churches to helping the community. The church helps the community in many ways; it helps with financial education, provides shelter, or helps feed the needy like Pilgrim Baptist Church (Photo courtesy of Douglas County Historical Society).
Calloway, Bertha W. and Alonzo N. Smith. Vision of Freedom on the Great Plains: An Illustrated History of African Americans in Nebraska. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 1990.
G. P. N. Educational Media. (1994). A Street of Dreams [Motion Picture]. (Available from GPN Educational Media, P.O. Box 80669, Lincoln, NE).
Jones, Patrick. Lecture on the Great Migration and Jazz, Making Invisible Histories Visible project, presented in Omaha, Nebraska at the Metro Community College FortOmaha Campus, Institute for Culinary Arts Building, July 19,2010.
King, Ed. 2010. Interview by Ebony M., Jonathan T., Karelle L., LeClara Gilreath, and Joseph Beard, 20 July. Digital recording with video
Smith, Alonzo N., Compiler, Black Nebraskans: Interviews from the Nebraska Black Oral History Project II. Nebraska: Nebraska Committee for the Humanities, 1982.
What I learned by being at this camp was that North Omaha was once a vibrant place. I also learned in 1919, a man named WIlliam Brown was accused of raping a white woman, he was lynched in front of the Douglas County Courthouse. I also learned about the riots in North Omaha in the 1960s, people went down 24th St. burning businesses. This camp shows that African-Americans, stayed strong through hard times in North Omaha History.
The most significant thing I learned about African-American churches was that the church was a place of refuge, hope, spirituality, and motivation. If I meet some one on the street who says “Why are you learning about history it's stupid.” I would say “You're wrong, history has made us what we are today. It has affected us so much. I couldn't fathom a world without history.” This program has taught me skills I can use for the rest of my life.
This camp has taught me a lot about my history and my past. It was a great experience. The most interesting thing I learned about was that during a march led by Martin Luther King Jr. in Cicero when marchers came back to their cars they were all turned over and on fire. I really enjoyed this camp and would recommend it to someone else.