African Americans

This pocket piece in History Nebraska’s collection served as a kind of membership card for admittance to Klan meetings. .It demonstrates how the KKK used symbolism and secret codes to promote its agenda.

Did you know that we got our state motto due to a post-Civil War controversy over Black voting rights?

The motto on the Nebraska Territorial Seal, "Popular Sovereignty," was seen as a euphemism for the expansion of slavery.

What did Malcolm X have to say in 1964 when he visited Omaha, his hometown? His Omaha speeches came at a time of transition in his life. He had recently left the Black-nationalist Nation of Islam, where he had been second-in-command.

Someday a historian will write a Nebraska History article examining the George Floyd protests in our state. In the meantime we can look to the past to better understand the present.

Newspaper portraits of a man and woman, Claude and Nellie Nethaway

Omaha was shocked when the wife of a Florence real estate man was brutally murdered in 1917. A suspect was soon in custody, but was he the right man?

Morton tried to keep slavery legal in Nebraska before the Civil War, showed questionable loyalty to the US during the war, and tried to keep black men from voting afterward. But is it fair to pass judgment on people of the past? Here's what we can learn from one of Nebraska’s leading statesmen.

Jesse Ishikawa and Rev. Trago T. McWilliams

Jesse Ishikawa and Rev. Trago T. McWilliams

Joseph Ishikawa came to Nebraska from a Colorado internment camp during World War II. As a city employee in 1946 he challenged a longstanding policy barring African Americans from the municipal pool. When a multiracial coalition pressured city leaders, officials claimed they didn’t support the rule… even as they resisted changing it.

 Ann Lowe 1966 

Pages from Nebraska History, Fall 2014, showing Ann Lowe in 1966.

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