Research compiled by: Deziree R., Jennifer B., Jontayvia S.
The DePorres Club was a civil rights organization of black and white Creighton University students started in 1947. The sponsor of the club was Father John Markoe. Markoe believed that racism was a sin against God. Therefore, he decided to do something about it. The group's main focus was the desegregation of businesses. One of the most commonly used strategies was holding campaigns against local businesses. An example of this was the Reed Ice Cream Campaign to pressure the company to allow blacks to work there. The DePorres Club thought the employment policy was unfair, because blacks were the best customers at Reed's. So they hosted sit-ins and picketed the stores. The club also ran campaigns to get the streetcar company to hire black drivers and the Coca-Cola Company to open employment to minorities. The DePorres Club did a lot of demonstrations, initiated court cases, and helped desegregate schools. After the 4CL was formed in 1963, the DePorres Club slowly faded into the background. They should be remembered because they played a big part in the early years of the civil rights movement in Omaha.
Peony Park was a popular recreation site near 76th and Cass with an amusement park and a large sandy beach swimming facility. In the summer of 1963 the NAACP Youth Council competently fought the discriminatory practice of excluding blacks from the swimming area. The group organized non-violent protests until justice was served. One of the things they did was to keep their cars in the only entrance to the park, thus backing up the lines, causing others to not be admitted. Archie Godfrey, former president of the Youth Council said that protection was always an important factor when doing these non-violent protests. As a safety precaution the youth decided it would be best to get the media there, so anything that happened would be caught on film. With the help of Rudy Smith, the first black photographer for the Omaha World-Herald, they were able to accomplish that.
Zion Baptist Church is located at 22nd and Grant. Its minister in 1963 was one of the founding leaders of the 4CL