Young, Gifted, and Black Providing Support to African American Students

Danilla Centeno Zamora, Staff Writer

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Young, Gifted, and Black is a new club at South focusing on the black student community. 

The club’s focus is on making students feel safe, encouraging them to ask questions, to help them become more educated and to find greater successful. 

The club sponsors, Halley Taylor and Lend Frison organized a field trip for the club members to commemorate the lynching of Will Brown 100 years ago. 

Taylor teaches ESL and Frison teaches English. Both teachers want to foster a sense of community and pride among the black student community at South. 

On September 30th, Young, Gifted, and Black students went to the Douglas County Courthouse for a reenactment of what happened on September 28th, 1919.  

They spent the last half of the school day learning about Will Brown’s lynching and the Omaha Riot.  

Freshman Alissia Henderson, is a member of Young, Gifted, and Black who participated in the opportunity to watch the reenactment downtown.   

“I learned a lot, because I didn’t even know that there were lynchings in Omaha. We went there, and it was crazy,” Henderson said. 

Although the lynching happened in Omaha, many students don’t know about it because it isn’t taught in history classes.  

Will Brown was lynched 100 years ago because he was, as historians now believe, wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. People of color are still wrongfully killed today, which is why it was important to Henderson that she was able to visit the courthouse and learn about the lynching.  

At the courthouse, there were actors who reenacted the scenes of the lynching. 

“The reenacting made everything a lot more real because it gave him a personality. Although it didn’t show us what he was feeling, it helped put the lynching into perspective,” Henderson said. 

Although she couldn’t feel what Will Brown was feeling, Henderson was able to see the impact of the lynching on Omaha and what it meant to African American history.  

“Senator Ernie Chambers was there talking about ways to help the community and about being a part of it. The president of the Omaha chapter of the NAACP and the fire department were there,” Henderson said. We talked about Will Brown and the Omaha Riots and what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”