Research compiled by: Alex W., Samad M., Tay H., and Bill Deardoff.
Omaha sports in the early 20th Century was rigidly segregated – sometimes violently so. Several local baseball leagues existed, and all were segregated by the turn of the century. Blacks from the Omaha Colored Leagues almost never played white teams. A big day for Negro Leagues sports was when Satchel Paige and his Negro League All-Star team came to Omaha. Paige was a star and him coming to Omaha was a pretty big deal. The park was packed. (World Herald photos courtesy Douglas County Historical Society)
African American children all over the country have gone to places where they could play and hang out with their friends. Some of these places in North Omaha are: Kountze Park, the North-Side YMCA, the Bryant Center, and other rec centers. The Bryant center was built in 1966 and adults as well as children alike have been playing on it ever since. This center was built after the civil unrest of that year. It was built because young people demanded a place to play. These places keep young people out of trouble and give them something to do. At these centers, neighborhood kids were mentored by coaches to work hard and it would pay off. Due to these places being built kids had a safe place to play and grow into young adults.
Sports played a prominent role in the integration of society as a whole, as they allowed multiracial interactions that were oftentimes nonexistent elsewhere. However, the success of the black athlete has also contributed to the continuation of a negative stereotype of African-Americans. Many early scientists, journalists, and social commentators traced the success of black athletes back to the assumed primitive African lifestyle and the selective breeding of slavery. This framed white athletic success as the result of hard work and intelligence, while black athletic success stemmed from imagined legacies of savagery and physical advantage. Despite the continuation of these stereotypes to the present day, scientific evidence shows that African-Americans have no genetic or historical advantages.