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Episode 56: Nebraska: The World Needs More of Mildred Brown with Brittany Ratelle

podcast Nov 19, 2021

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Brittany Ratelle to talk about the life and legacy of Mildred Brown.Though Mildred is not in most history books, she should be! Mildred was a savvy businesswoman and the owner of the Omaha Star newspaper in the 1930s. As a Black woman in the 1930s, this was impressive on its own. However, Mildred used her power of the press to positively reinforce good business practices in Omaha, and she highlighted the good works of the people in her community. Mildred received 150 community service awards and was appointed as a Goodwill ambassador by U.S President Lyndon B. Johnson. Join Sharon and Brittany as they talk about this uplifting story and explain why there needs to be a Mildred Brown t-shirt! 

Links to Full Episode:

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • Who is Mildred Brown
  • Mission of the Omaha Star newspaper
  • Mildred’s role in the Omaha community 
  • Why Mildred’s newspaper was successful 
  • How Mildred promoted good works in her community 
  • Mildred’s role as a civil rights activist
  • The U.S president that was impressed with Mildred Brown 

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Mildred Brown was born during the turn of the century in 1913. Known for her determination, leadership and white corsages, Mildred left a lasting legacy on our country. After marrying and moving north to Omaha, Nebraska, Mildred and her husband worked for local newspapers. Mildred had a keen ability to sell newspaper advertising, however, she was disheartened by the way the Black community was represented in the Omaha newspapers. After initially shrugging off a suggestion from her pastor to start her own newspaper, Mildred became determined to create a newspaper that would positively influence her community. 
  • Mildred and her husband started The Omaha Star newspaper. The newspaper’s focus was to be a newspaper of the people for the people, and one that highlighted good works in the community. Mildred hired children with bikes from her neighborhood to deliver her newspapers and lived in an apartment in the Omaha Star building. After she and her husband divorced, she became the owner and started to shine a light on businesses that were anti-discriminatory as a way of positive reinforcement for good behavior.  
  • Mildred began to work closely with an activist group in Omaha. Their efforts to promote equal rights in the city were largely successful. The Omaha Star worked to leverage the economic power of the community to change the behaviors of local corporations and businesses. Throughout Mildred’s life she received 150 community service awards, and she caught the attention of President Lyndon Johnson who appointed her to be a Goodwill Ambassador in East Germany during the 1960s. 

About the Guest:

Brittany Ratelle helps creatives and influencers become more confident business owners. With a background in PR, marketing, and law, she helps modern creative businesses navigate the digital landscape without losing their minds or sense of humor.

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