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Black Print with a White Carnation, Black Print with a White Carnation, 0803246900, 0-8032-4690-0, 978-0-8032-4690-4, 9780803246904, Amy Helene Forss, Women in the West, Black Print with a White Carnation, 0803249543, 0-8032-4954-3, 978-0-8032-4954-7, 9780803249547, Amy Helene Forss, Women in the West, Black Print with a White Carnation, 0803249551, 0-8032-4955-1, 978-0-8032-4955-4, 9780803249554, Amy Helene Forss, Women in the West, Black Print with a White Carnation, 080324956X, 0-8032-4956-X, 978-0-8032

Black Print with a White Carnation
Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989
Amy Helene Forss

2014. 272 pp.
19 photographs, 1 table
$30.00 s

Mildred Dee Brown (1905–89) was the cofounder of Nebraska’s Omaha Star, the longest running black newspaper founded by an African American woman in the United States. Known for her trademark white carnation corsage, Brown was the matriarch of Omaha’s Near North Side—a historically black part of town—and an iconic city leader. Her remarkable life, a product of the Reconstruction era and Jim Crow, reflects a larger American history that includes the Great Migration, the Red Scare of the post–World War era, civil rights and black power movements, desegregation, and urban renewal.

Within the context of African American and women’s history studies, Amy Helene Forss’s Black Print with a White Carnation examines the impact of the black press through the narrative of Brown’s life and work. Forss draws on more than 150 oral histories, numerous black newspapers, and government documents to illuminate African American history during the political and social upheaval of the twentieth century. During Brown’s fifty-one-year tenure, the Omaha Star became a channel of communication between black and white residents of the city, as well as an arena for positive weekly news in the black community. Brown and her newspaper led successful challenges to racial discrimination, unfair employment practices, restrictive housing covenants, and a segregated public school system, placing the woman with the white carnation at the center of America’s changing racial landscape.


Amy Helene Forss has a PhD in African American history and teaches at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Her work has appeared in journals such as Nebraska History and Great Plains Quarterly.

"This is a valuable addition to our knowledge of the role of the black press in urban race relations in the Midwest."—Oliver B. Pollack, Nebraska History

 2014 Nebraska Book Award in Nonfiction/Biography from Nebraska Center for the Book

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