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Black History Museum tells the story of local group 'ahead of its time'

Posted at 5:59 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 18:59:17-05

The Great Plains Black History Museum, located in North Omaha, is dedicated to educating people about history through the lens of African Americans.

"It’s important for everybody to learn about everyone’s contributions to America, not just from one perspective but all perspectives because then we can see more how we connect versus disconnect and also it helps build self pride," said Eric Ewing, Executive Director of the museum.

The museum is now teaching its visitors about the contributions made to Omaha's history by a local group, the DePorres Club. The club began on the campus of Creighton University and held boycotts against companies to gain opportunities for employment.

"They were a group focusing on the civil rights movement but one thing about the DePorres Club, they were focusing it on an economic standpoint instead of an access and where are you going to sit when you got into a place. So they looked at it more from getting people opportunities to gain employment, to be able to better take care of their families, and provide for the community in which they resided in," Ewing said.

The group helped to gain employment at companies such as Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Reed's ice cream and more.

Ewing met the son of one of the founders of the club, Danny Holland, years ago. Ewing and Matt Holland worked to gather artifacts about the club to display them in the museum.

"With all the different things that have been going on lately as it pertains to diversity, equality and things along that line, I wanted to show folks, that it was not just a struggle that was fought just by the African American community. There were others who were helping put forth equality diversity and things along that line," Ewing said.

Ewing says one can not truly know the history of Omaha without learning about the contributions of Black organizations.

"We all bring something to the table that others can learn from and benefit from," Ewing said.

The exhibit will be on display until the end of May.