Apparently Black women in Omaha, Nebraska during the turn of the century were not with the shits and for that reason this #WCW post is dedicated to Goldie Williams and Minnie Bradley.
Omaha’s Black population exploded after 1880 due to the job opportunities from the railroads where Black people found employment as porters, cooks, and common laborers. This boom also provided opportunities for other occupations, such as prostitution, which was the chosen profession of Goldie Williams. On January 29, 1898 Williams, who also went by Meg Murphy, was arrested for vagrancy after an unknown person attacked her, cutting her below the elbow and breaking her finger. When it came time for her mug shot, Williams crossed her arms defiantly and grimaced her face. She refused to exhibit any chill which resulted in this masterful mug shot. Goldie was described as 5 feet tall and 110 lbs. There is no record of her on the census of Omaha or Chicago, which is where she said she was born. How she got to Omaha remains mystery but I would like to believe that she carried zero fux along her journey.
Minnie Bradley, also a prostitute, was arrested for larceny (pick-pocketing) on December 11, 1902. She was 27 at the time, 5’2″ and 134 lbs. Minnie’s bond was paid for by one of Omaha’s Black crime bosses but as she was being released, a man showed up claiming Minnie robbed him. She offered him $5 to drop the charges , because she a G, but the man refused and Minnie spent the night in jail. When she went before the judge the following day, he stated he would drop all the charges against her if she left Omaha, which she did. But before she could leave, the police took her mugshot so that all Omaha officers would be familiar with her face. Minnie, clearly wanting to reclaim her time, provided us with this gem, crossed her arms and delivered a mean side-eye I hope to master some day. Minnie returned to Omaha three years later, because fuck yo couch, and had two more brushes with the law. There is no record (I could find) of Minnie after 1904.
Salute to these queens of petty!
And for those judgy “BuT wHy ArE wE cEleBrAtInG pRoStiTuTeS” folks, please refer to Minnie’s mugshot. History is history and these are stories that matter!