Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ
From the Bishop: A Family Reflection on Racism and Reconciliation

September 25th, 2019

Joseph Barker’s Diary, 1919

My great grandfather Joseph Barker lived in Omaha 100 years ago.  He kept a line-a-day diary for his entire adult life, and those volumes now belong to me.  This week in 1919, he wrote:

Sunday Sep 28, 1919.  Up 9 AM.  Rain.  Church – fine dinner with Bostwick Massey …

Mob burned courthouse and lynched negro.  Nearly killed Mayor Smith.  Cut fire hose – Military at 1 a.m.

On the next day, his terse account continued …

Monday Sep 29, 1919.  Soldiers all over town, more coming.  Riot over.  Father Holsapple’s family missed train (and) stayed our house … wrote a  lot  of riot Insurance … Brandeis – 1,000,000.  Bed 8:30.  Rain.

Omaha is soul searching this week.  We’re remembering the facts of what the World Herald called in Sunday’s paper, “Omaha’s Darkest Hour.”  We’re trying to be faithful and fearless about examining the legacy of racism in this community and the myriad ways that racial prejudice and hate still influence life in our “Nebraska Nice” city….

Click here to read the Bishop’s full reflection.


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