The OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc. was founded on August 17, 1952 as the OMIK Electronic Communications Association by Black hams from the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky to deal with discrimination in the dominate culture and to assist Black travelers with information on places where they could eat and lodge. Because membership in many other ham organizations was denied, a Black ham organization, with its own nets and other activities, was clearly needed.
Llewellyn Scearce, W8TKE, of Detroit, Michigan inspired the hams that he knew to take steps to form a regional association of black hams within the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. Lawrence D. Sallee, W8ZAW, promoted a meeting of eleven hams in the on-campus home of Henry Garcia, an instructor at Wilberforce College, Wilberforce, Ohio. Thus the first meeting of this association was held. Lawrence Sallee, W8ZAW, became the first president; James A. Smith, W8CZD, the first secretary/treasurer; and Llewellyn Searce, W8TKE, the first net control coordinator. Many names were suggested to call the new organization, including: Ohio Valley Radio Association, Amateur Radio for Defense, and United Radio Association. After much debate, they were all discarded and the first letter of each participating state was used to form a name sounding much like the electrical unit of resistance—ohm. OMIK (pronounced, “O-Mike”) Electronic Communications Association was born. It was later incorporated in the state of Michigan. This name was sustained until it was proposed and changed to OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc. in 2001.
OMIK has grown from a regional organization to national and international association. OMIK is the largest predominately Black amateur radio association in the country. All licensed operators and others of good character are welcome to become members. OMIK is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. Today, although still a predominantly African-American organization, OMIK is a multi-racial, multi-cultural organization with members from the United States as well as DX entities.
OMIK Seeks To
The OMIK callsign, KØMIK, is used primarily for special events such as the annual club convention which operates a radio station from the convention venue. It is also used for OMIK related events, youth school days, or Field Day, and at times when the area director, state coordinator, or other member approved by the OMIK President is one of the control operators.