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The Omaha Star is Nebraska's oldest (and only) black weekly newspaper. The Star was established on July 9, 1938, by Mildred D. Brown and her husband. Following the couple's divorce shortly thereafter, Mildred Brown took over ownership and editorial duties at the newspaper, making her one of the very few female newspaper owners and editors in American history. For more than 70 years the Omaha Star has provided "positive news" for Omaha's black community.


  • The Omaha Star's founder, Mildred B. Brown. She was credited for being the first female (especially an African American female) to start a newspaper.
  • Dr. Marguerita Washington took over leadership of The Omaha Star after her aunt, Mildred B. Brown, passed away.
  • The Omaha Star is located in the center of Omaha's black community. It is the only black owned newspaper in Nebraska.
  • Local kids stand in front of The Omaha Star with stacks of newspapers. It was a major privilege to have your name printed in the paper during the Civil Rights Era because most of the media only portrayed Blacks in negative ways.
  • Captured in this photo is Mildred B. Brown and Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey was a Senator, known for his civil rights legislation. Brown and Humphrey were friends.

The Omaha Star (Nebraska’s only black weekly newspaper) was established July 9, 1938 by the late Mildred D. Brown. Brown was believed to be the first female, especially the first African American female, to have started a newspaper in the United States’ history. She was known for being a strong black woman, and would never let men relegate her to a stereotypical female role. When Brown passed away in 1989, the paper’s ownership passed onto her niece, Dr. Marguerita Washington.

For more than 70 years, the Omaha Star has been printing positive news and being a vigilant champion to help improve the lives of African Americans. The star has also worked tirelessly throughout the years for equal rights for Blacks. The star led the charge to open restricted public accommodations to Blacks and also helped black teachers in the Omaha public school systems gain equal participation. Because of the Omaha Star’s record of never missing an edition and its legendary work for Black equality, the newspaper has won many awards. The star was inducted into the Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame on July 9, 1996, has won a Golden Spike Award and is a member of the National Newspaper Association.

The Omaha Star has documented African American lives throughout some of the most important eras in the United States: the Depression, WWII, the Great Migration, and the civil rights movement. Located in the heart of Omaha’s black community, the star continues to be a symbol of strength, education, and culture.  

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