Back On The Northside Again!

Good Morning, North Omaha! It is good to be back on the Northside again. Native Omaha weekend is back and 24th street was filled to capacity with so many people, and Saturday’s parade will be more of the same.

No matter where in the world I am, I’ve always stated my hometown as North Omaha, Nebraska. It is the place where I grew up and in a lot of ways shaped who I am today.

Yeah, my ‘hood faces the second decade of the 21st century with issues to face. Infrastructure. Education. Jobs. Crime. Economic opportunity. Indifference within the community. Indifference toward the community from outside of the community from the mayor’s office and city council, to the Unicameral, to a Washington racing to default. The North Omahas of our nation face each day with a lot of structual stresses in its foundations.

Yet we keep on keepin’ on. Through all the many dangers, toils and snare we’ve already come. North Omaha is still standing. Its lifeblood among its people still get up every day fights for something better. Those the community have helped to grow tall still give respect and love. They still come back and give back.

To me, that is what we celebrate this weekend and that is what set our challenge for the times to come.

It is easy to fall into thoughts of what we don’t have and where we fall short as a community. But let us not forget where we shine.

North Omaha is the small stores and business start each day early to rise and they haven’t left. North Omaha is the Great Plains Black Museum. The museum is NOT closed, even if the edifice temporarily is.

North Omaha is a Preston Love jazz composition with all the twists and turns of a good Gale Sayers run. North Omaha is the bold example of trailblazers from Eugene Skinner (who the Omaha Black Sports Hall of Fame honors on Saturday), to Dr. Don Benning, who has a son who I think will be remembered someday much like his dad is.

North Omaha is 11am Sunday morning and the renewed vigor of our church communities who are working to get our civic focus back in shape, just like a group of souls who meet at Benson High every Saturday to try and get our physical focus back in shape.

North Omaha is two old men lifting mental and physical weight at corner barber shop. One is more known. One is less known. Both are intellectual giants. Much love to you Dan Goodwin and Ernie Chambers.

North Omaha is Tech High, the Boys Club, Kellom League basketball in a sweaty bandbox on a January Saturday.

North Omaha is Charlie Washington boldly challenging, “Omaha can you do? Omaha will you do? Omaha you must do!”

North Omaha is a rough but proud past, present and still pushing to the future.

North Omaha may have its issues, but its our home to continue to build and nurture.

North Omaha is us.

Yes! It is great to be back!

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