Street and museum named after Ernie Chambers in North Omaha


OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – If you drive on Florence Blvd, just off Ames Street, this street now has a new name after a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for longtime Omaha North Senator Ernie Chambers.

“I wanted to do something for my dad, so he could see it with his own eyes,” Ernie’s daughter Gayla Lee-Chambers said.

Ernie Chambers, who fought for North Omaha for 44 years in the Nebraska Legislature, now has a street in North Omaha in his honor.

“I’m not very interested in the ceremonies, the accommodation or any of that,” Ernie Chambers said.

While Chambers was reluctant, it was something his daughter Gayla Lee-Chambers had been pursuing for some time.

“These emotions of happiness, of happiness,” said Lee-Chambers. “This sign should have been made many years ago.”

It wasn’t the only thing dedicated to Chambers, who fought for decades for the black community, against the death penalty, and to get college student-athletes paid.

A museum of arts, humanities and history named after Chambers was inaugurated on Friday.

“I don’t want to try to put it in words because I don’t even know what it’s going to be, but it sure won’t be a failure,” Chambers said.

Chambers, making a rare appearance with TV cameras, said he was happy to be there because it was something that made his daughter, Gayla, happy.

“All of this will be forgotten before the end of the day. It won’t mean anything, but the good you do to help individuals can mean the world to them and which we will find out will mean a lot to you, ”Chambers said.

The day brought together North Omaha leaders, state senators, activists and city council member Juanita Johnson; she hopes that the area around the museum will be revitalized and that decades from now people will remember Chambers’ work.

“People will remember the legacy, they will remember the laws he enacted in this district, all for the benefit of inclusion, diversity,” Chambers said.

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