The Omaha guide.
Omaha, Neb. (1927-19??)
- The Omaha guide. : (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??
- Alternative Titles:
- Greater Omaha guide 1945-1947
- Guide Omaha 1934
- Place of publication:
- Omaha, Neb.
- Geographic coverage:
- Omaha Guide Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began Feb. 12, 1927.
- African American newspapers--Nebraska--Omaha.
- African American newspapers.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799278
- African Americans--Nebraska--Newspapers.
- African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
- Omaha (Neb.)--Newspapers.
- "Largest accredited Negro newspaper west of Chicago and north of Kansas City."
- "Member of the Associated Negro Press."
- Description based on: 13th year, no. 27 (Sept. 21, 1940).
- Some issues misdated or misnumbered.
- sn 93062828
The Omaha Guide was a weekly African-American newspaper published from 1927 through 1958. Subscriptions for the paper ran $2.00 per year although the number of pages varied from eight to as few as four pages in later years. The Omaha Guide brandished several mottos near its flag including “Justice and Equality,” “All the News While Its News” and “Hew to the Line.” It featured columns, such as “Among the Churches,” offering ideas of where to go to church; “Women’s News” about recipes and local society news; and “Waiters’ Column.” In the last, H.G. Smith wrote about the beautiful Cottonwood Room at the Blackstone Hotel and the waiters taking care of the “high class trade.” In the late 1940s and 1950s, the paper carried a few comic strips, such as “Breezy” by Mel Tapley, and political cartoons. Especially after WWII, the paper included advertisements about apartments or rooms for rent such as “1 furnished room at $1.50 for 4 weeks” or “5 modern rooms $12.50, heat not included.”
Among the Guide’s editors were Charles Chapman Galloway, better known as “C.C.,” Gaines T. Bradford, and Mason Devereaux. Of these, C.C. Galloway, a local minister, was associated with the paper the longest and was the most influential. The paper reported on national, state and local news of interest to the African American community. One 1932 issue reported survey results on industrial and business conditions in Omaha and discussed the diaspora of Southern Blacks migrating to Omaha in two waves—first to take jobs with the Union Pacific Rail Road and second to work in industrial jobs, including packing houses in the Omaha stockyards. The survey noted that prior to WWI, Omaha’s African Americans were primarily employed as domestics and personal servants. It concluded that the changes were largely favorable to African Americans. Later in the same issue, a letter to the General Manager of Omaha Metropolitan Utilities noted that their service was slow and suggested that the agency hire more Blacks.
The newspaper often reported on notable Omaha citizens and politicians. In 1948, the Guide announced that the only “colored woman attorney” in Nebraska would begin practices in Omaha. Mrs. Elizabeth Davis Pittman had formed a partnership with her father, Charles F. Davis, to open the firm after she had received a coveted Regents Scholarship to the University of Nebraska, graduated and passed the bar. Another story spoke of Attorney John Adams Jr., 10th District candidate, who gave a keynote at the Dreamland Ballroom calling for Negroes to register to vote and to stop backing paid politicians. The Dreamland in North Omaha’s Jewell Building was a well-known and popular dance hall for many years. Among celebrities performing there and mentioned in the paper were Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole and many others.
Despite such articles, African Americans’ struggle for justice is reflected in many editorials. In 1932, “Judicial Lynchings” declared “Unequal justice in the courts toward Negroes is nothing new, and that the nation’s highest court realizes that if the local courts are swayed by the mob in matter of life, in time they will not protect property or maintain authority.” A report on Dec. 13, 1941, was titled “Nebraska Patriots Try to Enlist in the United States Navy Corps.” According to the article, the Omaha recruiting office told African Americans that there was “no place where Negroes could be used in the Navy at that time since the Negro jobs in the mess section had already been filled.” The editor stated “even in time of war in America, loyal patriotic citizens are refused the right to serve because of their color.” A week later, “Not a Traitor Among Them” appeared. “We have 13 million Negroes in the United States and there has never been a traitor or spy among them. Is that not a compelling challenge for our democracy? When will the American people learn to value and reward fidelity?” The paper also included a report on police detentions prior to trial and hearings conducted by the U.S. Senate Constitutional Rights Subcommittee.