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Feb. 5

Feb. 5, 2020


Derek Rayment
Public + Media Relations Manager
531-MCC-2876, office
402-960-0697, cell


MCC hosting talk on early 1900s African American resort town

OMAHA, Neb. — Metropolitan Community College will host Ronald J. Stephens, Ph.D., Purdue University, to present “Idlewild: The Rise, Decline and Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town.” The talk will take place on Wednesday, February 12 from 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. inside room 120 of the Industrial Training Center at the South Omaha Campus, 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave.

Stephens will explore with the audience the history of white land developers founding Idlewild, an African American resort community in western Michigan, in 1912. Over the decades following, the town became one of the country’s foremost vacation destinations for the Black middle class during its peak, drawing tens of thousands of visitors annually and hosting the era’s premier entertainers, such as The Four Tops, Della Reese, Brook Benton and George Kirby. By the early 1980s the town had become a struggling retirement community in the midst of financial and political crises.

This event is free and open to the public and part of MCC’s educational programming for Black History Month. This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.



Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest postsecondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.