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Prior to the civil rights era, throughout the urban North, most white-owned hotels refused to allow black patrons to stay in their rooms. Black-owned hotels in segregated African American neighborhoods, like the Patton Hotel in Omaha, provided…

North Omaha has been home to a number of black newspapers dating back to the 1890s. African American newspapers have historically provided an important alternative to mainstream newspapers, which rarely covered events in black communities, seldom…

Along with the thousands of African American migrants to the urban North during the mid-twentieth century came growing political power. Increasingly, black voters in the North could provide a meaningful margin in local, state and even national…

North Omaha has been home to dozens of African American churches over the years, making religious institutions one of the most consistently vibrant aspects of the community. This undated photograph shows members of Mt. Calvary Church.

Black firefighters have a long history in Omaha, stretching back more than 100 years to the 1890s. Initially segregated, the Omaha Fire Department formally integrated its force in 1954, the same year as the historic Brown v. Board of Education…

Education has long been a key to African American community uplift in Omaha and across the Great Plains, despite the pervasive reality of segregation and discrimination. Black parents, students and their allies have consistently pressed for greater…

Omaha was home to a wide range of black fraternal groups. The Elks and Masons were particularly strong in the city during the mid-twentieth century. Fraternal groups provided a social outlet, as well as opportunities for community betterment. …

Florence Pinkston-Mitchell was a prominent piano teacher in North Omaha for many years during the mid-twentieth century. Art and music lessons were an important part of a child’s education for most middle-class African Americans. Over the years,…

North Omaha’s Dreamland Ballroom, located on 24th Street near Lake Street, was a prominent stop on the national and regional jazz and r&b circuit from the 1930s through the 1960s. Most of the leading acts played the Dreamland during these years. …
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