THE NEGROES OF NEBRASKA

The Negro Press


     (43) For the past sixty-odd years one or more weekly newspapers have been published by the Negroes of Nebraska. During this period around thirty papers, owned, edited and published by Negroes, have appeared in the State. The group has never been able to support a daily paper, and only in Omaha have weekly papers survived for (44) any long period. The Negro press has been characterized by its militance in behalf of the race it represents, though on the whole it has been singularly free from bitterness and attacks against the white race. A few Negro editors, chief among them Rev. John Albert Williams, now deceased but formerly editor of the defunct Omaha Monitor, were outstanding leaders in the advancement of Negro progress in Nebraska.

     The first Negro newspaper to appear in Nebraska, the Western Post, edited and published by Horace G. Newsom, was established at Hastings in 1876. It survived for only a little while. In 1889 F. L. Barnett established a weekly newspaper, the Progress, in Omaha. Cyrus D. Bell, an ex-slave, established the Afro-American Sentinel in 1892. In 1893 the Enterprise, published by G. F. Franklin, later by Thomas P. Mahammitt, appeared. It was the longest lived of any Negro newspaper published in Nebraska.

     The best known and most widely read of all Nebraska Negro newspapers was the Omaha Monitor, established in 1915, edited and published by Rev. John Albert Williams. It ceased publication in 1929.

     Another relatively short-lived paper was the New Era, established in Omaha in 1920 and published until 1926 by George W. Parker.

     The largest Negro newspaper west of the Missouri River, the Omaha Guide, was established by B. V. and C. C. Galloway in 1927. The paper, with a circulation of over twenty-five thousand and an advertisers' list including business firms from coast to coast, is still in existence.

     The only other Negro newspaper still being published in Nebraska is the Omaha Star, established by S. E. Gilbert in 1938. It has to date been well received by the Negroes of Nebraska.

     The two newspapers published in Omaha, both weeklies, are the only publications issued by Negroes in Nebraska. Some organizations, such as the Urban Leagues, distribute mimeographed bulletins and leaflets at intervals, but these hardly qualify as periodicals.

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