At the age of only 16 in 1931, Mildred graduated from Miles Memorial Teachers College in Birmingham, Alabama. She became an English teacher. After marrying S. Edward Gilbert in 1936, she moved with him to Chicago and then Des Moines. There she attended Drake University in journalism.
The couple moved again, this time to Sioux City, Iowa, where Gilbert became the editor of the Silent Messenger. Mildred sold ads and wrote copy for news stories. This experience prepared them for creating their own newspaper, the Omaha Star.
By 1945, the Omaha Star was the only remaining African American newspaper in Omaha.
The Omaha Star brought "joy and happiness" with upbeat news about the black community. Positive role models were celebrated, families were honored, and individual accomplishments such as new jobs or graduation from high school or college were common features. The Omaha Star reported local as well as national news with black perspectives. The Omaha Star also encouraged its readers to become involved politically by voting.
"Dedicated to the service of the people that no good cause shall lack a champion and that evil shall not thrive unopposed."
"The store (Woolworth’s) did not discriminate in its hiring policy. It hired people in accordance with their ability to produce and that is the way to put democracy in action."
After World War II, Mildred Brown became involved with the DePorres Club, providing them guidance and moral support. The club was named for Saint Martin de Porres and led by Creighton University’s Rev. John Markoe. This group of African American high school students and mostly European-American Creighton students was dedicated to fighting discrimination and racism in Omaha.
When the club was asked to leave Creighton University (because they were too controversial and conducted "too much activism"), they continued to meet at the office of The Omaha Star, thanks to Mildred stepping in. The DePorres Club protested against segregation and helped African Americans in Omaha find jobs.
Mildred Brown died in 1989. The Omaha Star operated under the leadership of Mildred’s niece, Dr. Marguerita Washington, until her death in 2016. The Omaha Star is still being published.