Lunch event features Nebraska heroine

by Jo Giles, UNMC public relations | February 12, 2013

She may have died two decades ago but Mildred Brown's legacy lives on each week in Nebraska. The iconic newspaper she founded, the Omaha Star, is the longest running black newspaper founded by a black woman in the U.S.

picture disc.
Mildred Brown
As part of the campus recognition of Black History Month, Amy Helene Forss, Ph.D., history subject coordinator at Metropolitan Community College, will share insights about Brown's ability to connect and unite people in Omaha's white and black communities.

The event is Friday, Feb. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Eppley Science Hall Amphitheater (Room 3010). Free lunch is available to the first 30 attendees.

Below, Dr. Forss gives us a sneak peek inside the event.

What is something people don't know about the Omaha Star?

Oh, there is so much to share. I wrote my dissertation on the topic. To start, the Omaha Star began during the Great Depression and later became one of the biggest forces of desegregation in Omaha's businesses. Mildred Brown was courageous enough to print the names of businesses which wouldn't serve or hire blacks. Yet, she also was able to unify both communities.

Is there still a need for the black press?

Unfortunately, yes. So many news items are not found in the other Nebraska newspapers. There is still a separate audience. A savvy businesswoman, Brown saw the need and potential of securing advertising, something that has sustained the paper for decades.

What else will people learn at this event?

Omaha is rich in history - some of which we don't discuss. We still live in a segregated city. Yet, our community has made lots of progress - thanks to individuals like Mildred Brown.

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