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Black History in the Village helps move North Omaha forward

Posted at 3:44 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 08:13:41-05

Saturday's Black History in the Village event was focused not just on North Omaha’s rich history, but also it’s thriving future — and everything in between.

"Black history is every day. It's not just one month; it's every single day," Empowerment Network President Willie Barney said.

Organizers said events like this one near 24th and Lake help build momentum for efforts to revive the area.

"Our goal has always been to connect the rich history in North Omaha at 24th and Lake to a thriving future,” Barney said.

A future that will need help.

"When you have great people that are willing to work together, we will get even more done," he said.

Angel Martin, who attended the event, said she sees the possibilities.

"I really see the unity in working with the cross generations, and that's really the blessing because I do know that when we all get together on this one accord, great things are happening," she said.

Barney, who has lived in Omaha nearly 20 years and adopted the city as his own, said he’s excited to be part of the movement.

"Omaha has had a significant role in the movement of African Americans, and I just want to be a part of what's going on," he said. "But the history here is absolutely unbelievable. There's no industry that you can think of, North Omaha doesn't touch."

"Omaha is what we make it," he said. "There's more work to do, there's more issues to be solved but I'm encouraged to see the progress that is happening, and more and more people getting involved and celebrating that there is progress being made but joining in to make sure that we can finish in closing the rest of these gaps in the community."