The Greater Omaha Chamber marketing team is on the move – experiencing the sights, sounds, creativity and tastes that typify our region. We’re exploring our community and encourage you to check out these Greater Omaha gems – because best-kept secrets are best uncovered.
Omaha Gem Unlocks Past to Fuel Present
History belongs to everyone, and, our heartland heritage is paved with passionate people imparting change.
Enter the Great Plains Black History Museum, the region’s premier preservationists celebrating African American’s accomplishments across the middle U.S.
The Greater Omaha Chamber marketing team visited the museum to learn more about the organization’s mission and the dynamic contributions of African Americans across the Great Plains.
Established more than 40 years ago, the Great Plains Black History Museum features historically relevant exhibits and artifacts that have helped shape a nation. Founder Bertha Calloway, who organized the Negro Historical Society in Omaha in 1962, launched the museum in 1976 to serve the public and house one of the Metro’s most extensive personal collections of Black history artifacts.
Eric L. Ewing, executive director, toured the marketing team on their museum trip, pointing out an arc of achievement characterized by bravery and boldness.
From the horrific 1919 lynching of Will Brown, to the 1938 launch of the United States’ first Black-woman-owned newspaper (Mildred D. Brown’s Omaha Star) to Omahan Ernie Chambers’ well-established record as Nebraska’s longest-serving senator, the Great Plains Black History Museum showcases pivotal historical events – some of which include one-of-a-kind artifacts only on view at the Museum’s North Omaha location.
Contributing to the experiential impact of the museum’s exhibits is the annual Face-to-Face with Black History Tour, on exhibit until May 31.
The 2019 tour, designed to help develop future leaders by putting students “face-to-face” with Civil Rights’ history, will include 65 area youth; and, according to organizers, “promises to be not only educational, inspirational and transformational, but per our vision to develop our future leaders, by providing a learning experience, respect for their history and a challenge for them to go out and make history.”
While this making-history-happen attitude fuels the success of the Great Plains Black History Museum, it’s the achievements of the region’s African Americans that continue to turn history into reality and transform the Great Plains.