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  • Collection: Great Plains Black History Museum

Coming out of the civil rights era in the mid- and late-1970s, there was a lot of emphasis placed on community improvement and racial uplift. This image of young people participating in a “Community Clean-up Day” captures that spirit.

Dating back to the early part of the 20th century, African Americans in Omaha have attempted to band together to provide for the needs and care of the elderly in the community. This image, which dates back to 1913, features several women who worked…

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. …

This is a photo of the Jazz band, The Dixie Ramblers. The jazz scene in Omaha was vibrant from the 1920s through the 1960s. The Omaha Night Owls are sometimes credited as the first jazz band in the city. In 1923, musician and band-leader, Frank…

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…

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…

In 1953, the DePorres Club mounted a successful campaign against Reed’s Ice Cream for discriminatory hiring practices. Here, members of the organization picket outside of Reed’s and talk to community members about their protest. Note the sign…

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…

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…

Black baseball was popular throughout the Midwest during the mid-20th century, including Omaha. It provided a social outlet for community members, opportunities for skilled ballplayers, and entrepreneurial possibilities for team owners. Many black…
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