In 1898, Omaha hosted the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. Within the
exposition was the Indian Congress. Here, visitors saw an interpretation
of life for Plains Indians.
For more information click here, Indian Congress
This project explores points of Native American
and European points of contact in the early 1800s including Fort
Atkinson and Cabannes Trading Post.
Photo courtesy of Joslyn Art Museum
For more information click here, Early Contact
North Omaha, Sports
Sports are a large part of the community for fans and non fans alike.
Sports give youth a sense of hope. More importantly it keeps young kids
out of gangs and away from drugs. African-Americans have fought for a
place on sports teams throughout the years, destroying the racial
barriers. It wasn’t just the athletes that fought for these rights. A
large amount of the black people in the community became united and
helped to make young African-American athletes' dreams realized. When
some of those athletes became professionals, they exhibited a sense of
pride they earned through proving themselves to white athletes. Over the
years, whites became more accepting of them, and the stereotype that
whites are better than blacks was destroyed. Black athletes became
heroes in their communities and across the country.
Click here for more information on North Omaha, Sports
Omaha North, Businesses
Have you ever walked down 24th Street and wondered about the history
behind it? During the 1930s, N. 24th Street transitioned from a
predominantly Jewish community to a largely African American
neighborhood. During the 1930s, there were several local African
American owned buisnesses, such as Myers Funeral Home (pictured below),
Robins Drug (pictured right), and Harris Grocery Store (pictured below).
During the Civil Rights movement of the fifties and sixties, several
African American-owned restaurants opened and became significant
community centers, such as Skeets Barbecue and Time Out Chicken, where
we did our oral history. Civil Rights activists gathered at the Fair
For more information click here, Businesses
Civil Rights: Tactics and Strategy for Change
Segregation, discrimination, and unfair, these are the words that were
commonly used by the North Omaha black community in the 1950s and 1960s
to describe the struggles of minorities. These words would thrive in a
new era, The Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was made
up of citizens who wanted to achieve equality, to take charge in their
lives, and to do something to make things right, not only for blacks,
but other ethnic groups as well. Some groups were non-violent such as
the 4CL (the Citizens Coordinating Committe for Civil Liberties) and
the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement for Colored People).
Others were more radical such as the Black Panthers. However, they all
shared a common goal: Civil Rights.
For more information click here, Civil Rights: Tactics and Strategy for Change
Community Cohesion: Native American Days
Native Omaha Days is important to North Omaha because it brings back
memories. It's where the black community comes together, has fun, and
talks to each other. Native Omaha Days is where people from across the
country come to Omaha and get together to celebrate the North 24th
Street culture. This biannual event has become a main stay in the North
Omaha community. The founders of Native Omaha Days were two black women,
Vera Johnson and Bettie McDonald. Native Omaha Days was founded in the
For more information click here, Community Cohesion: Native American Days
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska existed for many generations, but in the
early 1960s their tribal affiliation was terminated by the government.
This is the story of how proud Native Americans fought to regain their
status and how one man, Fred LeRoy, led the charge.
For more information click here, Ponca Restoration
North Omaha, Civil Rights
North Omaha has a long, complex
history of Civil Rights that remains largely unnoticed. Not only is it
the birthplace of an important political and cultural leader, Malcolm
Little, but also home of one of the longest running Black newspapers,
the Omaha Star. From a small town barbershop on 24th & Spencer to
marches and demonstrations that changed people’s lives—Omaha has
captured people’s attention from Presidential candidates to the common
folk. However, much of this history remains largely invisible…until now.
Click here for more information North Omaha, Civil Rights
North Omaha, Education in Omaha
Americans have faced numerous obstacles over the years including
several within the field of education. From segregation, to unfair
hiring practices, to outdated textbooks, to dilapidated buildings,
African Americans are still persevering. African American parents
realized that their children were not receiving an equal education and
decided to take legal action against the Omaha Public Schools district
in the hopes of having a more integrated educational system. The courts
intervened to assist in the desegregation of OPS. Eventually mandatory
busing was put into place essentially integrating the district in the
1970's. In 1999 the Omaha Public School district ended mandatory busing.
Students could then choose to go to any school they wanted, but most
chose their neighborhood schools. Due to the issues surrounding
redlining, the practice of steering members of certain racial groups to
live in certain areas of the city, race based neighborhoods are causing
the classroom images of segregation from the past to slowly creep back
into some schools.
Click here for North Omaha, Education
Despite segregation and racism, African Americans in Omaha created a
vibrant local culture and found ways to have fun. Some of the unique
leisure and entertainment opportunities for local black people included
Kellom swimming pool, a putt-putt golf course, a skating rink and
several theaters where local people saw concerts and plays. By looking
at entertainment in North Omaha, we can see the many positive ways
African Americans built their community.
Click here for more information Indignities of Jim Crow