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Black print with a white carnation: Mildred Brown and the "Omaha Star" newspaper, 1938--1989

Amy Helene Forss, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study examines and analyzes the life and times of Mildred Dee Brown, the co-founder of the Omaha Star, the longest running black newspaper founded by a black woman in the United States. Her story dates from the nineteenth-century era of Reconstruction and Jim Crow, to the twentieth century's Great Migration, World Wars I and II, the Red Scare, the civil rights and black power movements, desegregation and urban renewal. Brown's strong family background, her deliberate involvement with the black community in Omaha, Nebraska, usage of the politics of respectability, knowledge through practical application and formal education, community collective activism, racial solidarity, and ability to change strategies, ensured her status and her weekly's longevity in the city's black enclave. During Brown's fifty-one year tenure as the owner, editor, and publisher of the Omaha Star, she successfully challenged racial discrimination, unfair employment practices, restrictive housing covenants, the public segregated school system and a freeway dividing the minority neighborhood. The Near North Side's matriarch, with her trademark white carnation corsage, became an iconic leader while her legacy, the Omaha Star newspaper, continues as a source of racial uplift for black Omaha residents. ^

Subject Area

Biography|History, Black|History, United States|Journalism

Recommended Citation

Forss, Amy Helene, "Black print with a white carnation: Mildred Brown and the "Omaha Star" newspaper, 1938--1989" (2010). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3427285.