Meet the Omaha Star – The Star of North Omaha

 Meet the Omaha Star – The Star of North Omaha

By: S.P, A Student at the University of Nebraska Omaha as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning Academy Class.

Meet the Omaha Star – The Star of North Omaha

Before there were TVs and the internet, people across the country found themselves reaching for their local newspaper to stay on top of the news that was occurring within the city. For the African American community, they founded their own papers that shared stories and events that were occurring within their own communities that weren’t being shared elsewhere. African Americans creating their own newspapers was with the purpose of expressing their freedom to write and freedom to start a newspaper to share the good and impactful events occurring within their communities. With this purpose, Omaha found one of its pillars being titled The Omaha Star which was a Black-owned newspaper created by Mildred Brown in a North Omaha neighborhood to share the vibrant and positive culture in North Omaha.

The Creation of the Omaha Star

When the Omaha Star was founded in 1938 in the iconic storefront on North 24th Street, there had already been a long string of other Black-owned newspapers that had hit the market decades before. The creator of the Omaha Star, Mildred Brown and her ex-husband S. Edward Gilbert, created their newspaper to discuss and celebrate events, accomplishments, stories of resilient African American families and African American role models in North Omaha. With The Omaha Star sharing these stories occurring in North Omaha, Brown took the reins, became the owner and CEO, and focused on sharing the positivity occurring within North Omaha to display how the positivity was shaping the culture within North Omaha. With other newspapers focusing on the advocacy and more harsh events that were occurring in Omaha, the Omaha Star was quite literally a star that focused on the African American community being celebrated. The spread of positivity within this culture shaped it to be vibrant and to continue to create empowering stories across North Omaha with the stories being created as a chain reaction of positivity.

Brown’s positive approach with the Omaha Star led to their newspaper becoming the last selling newspaper in Omaha by 1945 because of the stories being shared. With their banner expressing “Joy and Happiness”, the happiness that radiated throughout the culture in North Omaha reflected just that with each story that was written daily for only ten cents a copy. The positivity kept daily readers of their newspaper engaged with the mesmerizing stories sharing the resilience of African Americans who were expressing their freedoms which was not done in any other newspaper.

The Impact of the Omaha Star

The positive approach that led the Omaha Star to being one of the pillars of North Omaha that would later result in it being the last surviving Black-owned newspaper, Brown made sure to mold the paper to fit what was occurring throughout the country as well. This would be seen in the 1950s as Brown would encourage readers to run for office and to vote in elections. With the encouragement in the Omaha Star, there was an increase in African American voters which was a positive impact for the African American community in Omaha. Brown would also use her influence and the Omaha Star to support Civil Rights activists around the Omaha metro and the country as the Civil Rights Movements began to advocate against racism and segregation. This would be seen with advocate groups such as the DePorres Club who had been kicked off the Creighton University campus for the controversy regarding their advocacy against racism and segregation. When the group went to the Omaha Star to gain some attention to help spread their message against racism, Brown used the influence of the newspaper to do so. The positive and empowering influence of both Brown and the Omaha Star were able to help the club continue to gain attention which allowed for the advocacy efforts against racism and segregation to continue forward.

These two moments of direct representation of the Civil Rights Movement in the Omaha Star continued to empower the African American community in North Omaha to continue fighting for equality and desegregation across the country. Brown was later honored by former President Lyndon B. Johnson and many other influential figures for her courageous and impactful use of her influence on the city to enact more positive change like the positive stories that were shared daily in the Omaha Star.

The Everlasting Impact on North Omaha

Although times since the Omaha Star’s peak have changed drastically, the Omaha Star is still writing newspaper stories to this day in their North Omaha office. Since the Civil Rights Movement, The Omaha Star has returned to focusing on sharing the positive stories of the community in North Omaha, with a section now dedicated to their archived stories. At the time of the Omaha Star’s peak, Brown being an African American woman who started the Omaha Star was unheard of at the time. But with such a monumental action, Brown continued forward and now may be one of the few African American women to have started her own newspaper in Omaha. Being such an impactful woman in the North Omaha community has instilled an everlasting impact within the community because on the impact Brown had on sharing, enacting, and inspiring positivity within the community. This impact has left a legacy that will continue to be cherished within the community as the history Mildred Brown left behind will inspire others to continue to share the positivity within North Omaha.


Star, O. (2023). The Omaha Star. Issuu. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from 

Encyclopedia, F. (2023, April 10). Omaha Star. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from 

Fletcher, A. F. C., says:, H. N., & says:, A. F. C. F. (2022, June 27). History of the Omaha Star. North Omaha History. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from 

About Freedomtainment

Freedomtainment is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Omaha, Nebraska established to educate, empower and entertain the Omaha Nebraska community about North Omaha Culture while bringing awareness to local, social and business resources.  It hosts the Omaha Freedom Festival to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and the Level Up Career & Housing Fair on Labor Day Weekend.

About Omaha Freedom Festival

The 2023 Omaha Freedom Festival is taking place on June 17th at the Malcolm X Outside Event Plaza to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday from 12noon – 12midnight to honor the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States.  See website for event schedule and how to obtain tickets.