West Las Vegas

History In the 1920s no segregation laws on the books barred black citizens from participating in community life, but with legalization of gambling (1931), repeal of prohibition(1933) and completion of the Boulder Dam (1935) and with tourism on the rise, casino owners began restricting their patrons to whites only. Blacks were allowed to entertain or work in casinos, but they were not allowed to attend shows, live in the casino district, or obtain or renew business licenses.[4] In response to the segregation, blacks in effect created their own Las Vegas that offered everything the real…

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Black History in Nevada

We honor African-Americans, past and present, who have shaped our state. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 Photo: Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas On Monday, January 20, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Nevada and the rest of the country. King is the recognizable face and symbol of the mid-1900s civil-rights movement, even making a trip to Las Vegas in 1964 in support of his friend and local activist Bob Bailey. In fact, Vegas was so segregated a half a century ago that it…

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African Americans in Las Vegas

Over the course of the twentieth century, economic opportunities encouraged black migration to the Las Vegas area, but racial discrimination curtailed aspirations for decent employment. Partnership in a ranch attracted John Howell, the first black man known to own property in Southern Nevada; however the railroad, gaming, and federal projects drew most African Americans to Las Vegas. By 1910, out of the 945 residents of Las Vegas, forty were black. By mid-century, racism in Las Vegas was so onerous that it had achieved national prominence, causing Nevada to be branded as the…

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