Las Vegas Juneteenth 
Celebrates 153 Years of Freedom

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You might be a special match for a patient in need!

Click above for more information on the BLUE TAG PROGRAM

Sickle cell disease affects almost all races. It especially affects people with ancestors from Africa, India, Central and South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Mediterranean nations like Italy, Greece, France and Turkey.

Under Blue Tie Tag Program,  , blood donors who identify themselves as being African-American or Black, can have a “blue tag” attached to their blood collection bag. This indicates that the donated unit of blood may be matched to a patient with sickle cell disease. If a patient with sickle cell disease does not need the blood within 21 days, or if there is not a match, the donated blood will be available for any patient in need.

  • Next time you attend a Red Cross blood drive, ask for the Blue Tag to let the Red Cross staff know you are interested in this special sickle cell donor program.
  • Your blood will be tested, as is all blood, for type and infectious disease.

Documenting the African American Experience

The Community Partners of the African American Collaborative joined together because each believes in the importance of collecting, preserving and making accessible the history of African Americans in Las Vegas. Users who enter this website will discover a single portal that connects stories and historical evidence of the African American experience

We found these sites to be informative, see if you agree:

To Thee I See

Arby L. Hambric served 20 years in the United States Navy and fought in three war eras (World War II, Korea, Vietnam). In 2012, he was awarded the “War Hero” medal by the Universal Peace Confederation, and has been recognized by United States political figures and organizations for his outstanding community efforts.  From his unit, he is one of the few living plank owners of the 1946 commissioned USS Palau CVE-122 aircraft carrier. For over 30 years, he has volunteered his time at convalescent centers, homeless shelters, and since 1956, has served at over 1,000 veteran funerals as a traveling flag bearer.  He has been a member of Second Baptist Church for 39 years, co-founded the Male Chorus, served as the Vice Chair of the Trustees Board, and was the president of the Brotherhood program for 27 years. In 2014, he was appointed by the F Street Coalition to serve on the Southern Nevada Enterprise Board. He is the author of his autobiography To Thee I See and proceeds from each sale will go towards the Arby L. Hambric Scholarship.  Arby was born in Centerville, Texas, and presently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

How did it feel to be bought and sold like cattle, only to be liberated with nowhere to go and no one to turn to for help? In this profoundly moving program, Ted Koppel of ABC News presents the African-American slave experience in the voices of those who knew it firsthand. Thanks to tapes—now digitally remastered—from a project undertaken during the 1930s and 40s by John Henry Falke and others, 101-year-old Fountain Hughes, who was born in 1848, and other ex-slaves give their recollections of life before Emancipation and during Reconstruction. (22 minutes)


Las Vegas:Berkely SquareThe Berkely Square subdivision, which is located in the area historically known as Las Vegas’ Westside, consists of 148 Contemporary Ranch-style homes designed by internationally-known African American architect Paul R. Williams. It was built between 1954 and 1955 and was the first minority (African American) built subdivision in Nevada.

Moulin Rouge Hotel This was the first interracial hotel built in Las Vegas, constructed in 1955, at a time when black performers and visitors were denied access to casino and hotel dining areas and were forced to seek accomodation in black boarding houses. Despite community aims to preserve the site, all that remain of the structure are two pillars in an empty lot.

Reno:Bethel AME Church This church was a religious, social and political center of the African American community, initially for black settlers in Reno Nevada in the 1910s, and later for local civil rights activists during the 1960s.

This  week marks the anniversary of one the most tragic events in black history — the Rosewood massacre — the result of rape accusations made by a white woman against a black man, which led to violent riots and the murder of several innocent African-Americans in January of 1923. To commemorate this event, historian Dr. Marvin Dunn interviews the last survivor of Rosewood and sheds new light on the event that still haunts African-Americans.

Nevada is one of the states that does not have a single central online state repository for historical newspapers, nor do they use the Library of Congress Chronicling America site as their main site for searching old newspapers. There are some free online newspapers on other sites and collections available on subscription sites.

Thomas Jefferson. A complicated man. Our third president was an architect, explorer, historian, philosopher, lawyer, voracious reader and scientist.

He drafted the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

But he also owned more than 130 slaves, fathered six children by one, and freed only seven. The rest, some of whom had lived in slavery for three or more generations at Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia plantation, were sold to pay off Jefferson’s enormous debts after he died.   .   .   .

America's Civil War Contraband Camps

Most Americans have never heard of Civil War contraband camps, and a lack of knowledge concerning the role the camps played in shaping the African American transition to freedom is unfortunate as it oversimplifies our understanding of emancipation--especially the active role blacks played in gaining their own freedom. Literally hundreds of thousands of the four million African Americans still enslaved in 1860 came into contact with Union lines or forces. While many blacks remained on farms and plantations  in areas occupied by federal forces, many other blacks either took flight, searching for Union lines, or departed from their former homes as the Union moved out. Camps for fugitives ranged from makeshift cover just outside military encampments to abandoned barracks to small "neighborhoods" envisioned by superintendents, army officers placed in charge of fugitives. These wartime and postwar communities were built by the fugitives themselves. Thousands of freedom seekers also boarded Navy vessels on the Potomac, Mississippi, and other of the nation's southern rivers and other waterways. Camps existed in most areas where the Union gained a foothold. Such areas mostly included towns and cities. In all cases, especially after 1862, the freedom-seekers were put to work in various capacities, making the camps the first places of wage employment for former slaves. While in some areas strict systems of registration and passes were required of blacks seeking to remain in a city, contraband camps should not be confused with concentration camps or internment camps of the World War II era. For the most part, blacks were not forced to stay in contraband camps. 

Black Wall Street -- Tulsa Oklahoma

The Date Was June 1, 1921, "BLACK WALLSTREET"

 The name fittingly given to one of the most affluent All-BLACK Communities in America, was bombed from the air and Burned to the ground by mobs of envious Whites.

In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black Business District in northern Tulsa lay smoldering — a model Community destroyed and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused.

The Night's Carnage left some 3,000 African Americans Dead and over 600 Successful Businesses Lost.

Among these were 21 Churches, 21 Restaurants, 30 Grocery Stores and 2 Movie Theaters, plus A Hospital, A Bank, a Post Office, Libraries, Schools, Law Offices, a half dozen Private Airplanes and even A Bus System.

As could have been expected, the impetus behind it all was the infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with Ranking City Officials and many other Sympathizers.

The best description of BLACK WALL STREET, or Little Africa as it was also known, would be to compare it to a mini -- Berverly Hills.

It was the golden door of the BLACK Community during the early 1900's, and it proved that African Americans could create a successful infrastructure.

That's What BLACK WALLSTREET, Was All About.

The Dollar circulated 36 to 100 Times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the Community.

Now a Dollar leaves the BLACK Community in 15-minutes.

As Far As Resources, there were Ph.D.'s residing in Little Africa, BLACK Attorneys and Doctors.

One Doctor was Dr. Berry who owned the Bus System. His average income was $500 a Day, a hefty pocket change in 1910.

It was a time when the entire State of Oklahoma had only 2 Airports, yet 6 BLACKS, Owned their own Planes.It was a very Fascinating Community.

The mainstay of the Community was to educate every child.

Nepotism was the one word they Believed in. And that's what we need to get back to.

The main thoroughfare was Greenwood Avenue, and it was intersected by Archer and Pine Streets.

From the First Letters in each of those Three Names you get G.A.P. And that's where the renowned R&B MusicGroup The GAP Band got its name. They're From Tulsa.

BLACK WALLSTREET was a prime example of the typical, BLACK Community in America that did businesses, but it was in an unusual location.

You See, At The Time, Oklahoma was set aside to be a BLACK and Indian State.

There were over 28 BLACK Townships there. One third of the People who traveled in the terrifying "Trail of Tears" along side the Indians between 1830 and 1842 were BLACK People.

The Citizens of this proposed Indian and BLACK State chose A BLACK Governor, A Treasurer from Kansas named McDade.

But the Ku Klux Klan said that if he assumed Office they'd Kill Him within 48 hours. A lot of BLACKS owned Farmland, and many of them had gone into the Oil Business. The Community was so tight and Wealthy because they traded Dollars hand-to-hand, and because they were dependent upon one another as a result of the Jim Crow Laws.

It was not unusual that if a Resident's Home accidentally Burned down, it could be rebuilt within a few weeks by Neighbors.

This was the type of scenario that was going on Day-to-Day on BLACK WALL STREET.

When BLACK's intermarried into the Indian Culture, some of them received their promised '40 Acres and A Mule'and with that came whatever Oil was later found on the Properties.


Survivors of Black Wall Street race riot still haven’t received any reparations


by Yvette Carnell, BreakingBrown

The people of Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, look around at the devastation of the entire 1 square mile neighborhood after the smoke cleared. Many of their neighbors had died; estimates range from 300 to 3,000, proponents of the larger number citing stories of a mass grave.  

Some financial observers attribute the Black community’s economic woes to our unwillingness to financially support Black businesses. Well, back in 1921, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, community named Black Wall Street, a dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the community.

That was before a white mob destroyed the town. Given the ferocity of the attack and the complicity of Oklahoma police, one would think that by now survivors would’ve been compensated for what they endured, but they haven’t been.

As BreakingBrown previously reported, Black Wall Street had its own theaters, grocery stores, independent newspapers and professional Black class before being demolished by an irate white mob angry over a Black teen’s alleged assault of a white female. (The Bay View’s main Black Wall Street story is one of the most popular on our website. – ed.)

In the 1921 riot, whites attacked Blacks who were living in the Greenwood area, also known as Black Wall Street. The Tulsa police were not only indifferent, but they also took part in the destruction of the wealthiest Black city in America, with officers helping to set fire to the property of Blacks who had lived and thrived in that area.

As a result of white supremacist terrorism, an estimated 10,000 Blacks were left homeless and 35 city blocks were burned to the ground. Blacks who had been injured during the assault could not even seek medical care because the Black hospital was one of the buildings torched by white mobs.

Even white attorneys in the area didn’t buy the story that the Black teen had attacked the white teenager, one reportedly having said: “Why, I know that boy, and have known him a good while. That’s not in him.”

As a result of white supremacist terrorism, an estimated 10,000 Blacks were left homeless and 35 city blocks were burned to the ground.

Black Wall Street survivor Olivia Hooker, now 99, has never given up hope for restitution. She was 6 years old when her father’s department store was destroyed. – 

After the riot, Mayor T.D. Evans told a commission that what happened was “inevitable,” adding, “Let us immediately get to the outside fact that everything is quiet in our city, that this menace has been fully conquered, and that we are going on in a normal condition.”

And the city moved on and the people who lost everything, like Olivia Hooker, who is 99 now, have never been compensated for their loss.

Hooker, who was only a child during the riot, described to Al Jazeera how it impacted her. “After she witnessed white Tulsans loot her town, her perceptions of race were dramatically altered,” writes Dexter Mullins in “Survivors of infamous 1921 Tulsa race riot still hope for justice.”

The city moved on and the people who lost everything, like Olivia Hooker, who is 99 now, have never been compensated for their loss.

Like Black business districts in many cities before desegregation, Tulsa’s Black Wall Street supplied all the Black community’s needs, with all sorts of Black businesses, like this movie theater, and Black professionals. A dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the neighborhood. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society

“I was 6 years and 3 months old when it occurred and the reason it was so devastating to me was that I had never been made aware of discrimination and hatred,” Hooker told Mullins.

“The only people that I saw who were not of my hue were people who were trying to sell something to my father for his department store and so they behaved as salesmen do. They brought things, they listened to my sister play Bach and they tried to engage the children so my father would buy their products.

“That was my image of people of another hue, and so when this terrible thing happened, it really destroyed my faith in humanity. It took a good long while for me to get over it.”

Blacks valiantly fought the fires that terrible day, June 1, 1921, to no avail. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society

Mullins writes: “As the mob spread through Greenwood and the National Guard arrived to evacuate Black residents from their homes, Hooker’s mother saw crowds of people standing on a nearby hillside watching the disaster – with their children in tow. Hooker describes the speech her mother gave to the onlookers of the destruction”:

“She decided that all families who had brought their children to watch the destruction of the African American people – she thought she’d better tell them something. So she stood up there and gave an oration on the fact that what they were doing, bringing children to watch this, was going to be visited upon them unto the third and fourth generation,” said Hooker.

“So the children started crying and the people who brought their children to see the destruction said: ‘Make that woman shut up. She’s scaring our children.’

“And a man came from the group. I presume he was a veteran, because he limped. And he said to my mother, ‘If you’ll finish your oration, I can’t go in your house while the monsters are still in there, but I promise you when they leave I’ll go down and try to snuff out all the little blazes that they set.”

Ku Klux Klan membership grew after the destruction of Black Wall Street. Here they gather in Drumright, Okla., in 1922, the following year. And in 2001, 80 years later, when the Tulsa Race Riot Commission recommended in a 178-page report that survivors be paid reparations, calling it a “moral obligation,” hate calls flooded into the Greenwood Cultural Center, where a plaque lists the financial claims of the over 200 who’ve sued, adding up to $2,719,745.61. – 

“After 93 years of fighting for restitution,” Mullins writes, “Hooker admits it is not likely she’ll ever receive anything”:

“We thought we might live long enough to see something happen,” Hooker told him, “but even though I’ve lived 99 years, nothing of that sort has actually happened. You keep hope alive, so to speak, and just keep right on trying – never giving up, never, never giving up.”

Real reparations, however, come in dollars and cents, not words.

There are fewer than a dozen survivors of the riot, and they will all probably die without being compensated. All city officials have offered them thus far are empty apologies.

“I cannot apologize for the actions, inaction and dereliction that those individual officers and their chief exhibited during that dark time,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan in 2013. “But as your chief today, I can apologize for our police department. I am sorry and distressed that the Tulsa Police Department did not protect its citizens during those tragic days in 1921.”


Yvette Carnell writes about politics, international and cultural issues on Your Black World and is the founder ofBreakingBrown, where this story first appeared. She can be reached at [email protected] or via Bay View staff contributed to this story.---


The African American Special Collection consists of specialized materials by and about African Americans. The emphasis of the collection is on the African American Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the West. The core collection consists of books, periodicals, government publications, videos, and other audiovisual materials. The collection also provides a file of pamphlets, newspaper clippings and photograph

West Las Vegas Library is the library of the historic West Las Vegas community. The District's objectives in developing and disseminating this Special Collection are to provide the materials necessary to empower members of the community to relive and rediscover the vibrancy of the West Las Vegas community and the development of the United States through the efforts and contributions of African Americans. Though the establishment of this Special Collection the Library works

  • to promote a sense of community in sharing this information by physical contact and via computer
  • to empower readers of this Collection, especially African Americans

"Knowledge is worthless, if it is not shared."Tom Brooks, Historian, Gravenhurst, Ontario

Collection Overview

The African American Special Collection consists of specialized materials by and about African Americans. The emphasis of the collection is on the African American Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada and the West. The core collection consists of books, periodicals, government publications, videos and other audio-visual materials. The collection also provides a file of pamphlets, newspaper clippings and photographs.

In April 1999, the West Las Vegas Library applied for and received Nevada State funding for the creation of a community heritage preservation project. The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District established the African American Special Collection to gather and preserve the existing materials and to provide access to these materials to all residents of Las Vegas.

The Special Collection of African American material is comprised of three distinct collections:

  • Frederick Douglass Collection Established by the Frederick Douglass Scholarship Fund in 1999 to highlight the works by and about Frederick Douglass

  • National CollectionBooks and materials by and about African Americans in the western states of the the United States of America

  • Nevada CollectionBooks, pamphlets and materials written by and about African Americans who have inhabited the State of Nevada and Las Vegas, past and present

The collections of African American materials (both National and Nevada) include items other than published books and videos. Members of the West Las Vegas community have graciously donated their photographs, newspaper clippings or articles and other memorabilia that document the ethos of the West Las Vegas community.

2015 was the 150th year anniversary of the celebration ofJuneteenth Independence Day in America. 

Juneteenth should  finally be placed on all calendars as a National Day of Observance, like Flag Day or Patriot Day, the president of the United States must be supportive.

Unfortunately, President Obama never issued a Juneteenth Proclamation, hosted a Juneteenth event or honored our ancestors, Americans of African descent, who built the White House during the tyranny of enslavement. 

 As a state senator and U.S. Senator from Illinois, then Senator Obama was a enthusiastic supporter of the celebration of Juneteenth.

2015 brought a record number of Juneteenth Celebrations from across America and around the world. Americans from all fifty states continue to uplift the celebration of the end of enslavement during the 150th year anniversary of the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The national media continues to ignore the significance of Juneteenth Independence Day in America, the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement and the World Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement.



The official records designate September 24, 1863 as the first day of recruitment for the Thirteenth U.S. Colored Infantry at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  

The ranks of the Thirteenth were filled on November 19, 1863 at Nashville, Tennessee.  The colored ladies of Murfreesboro, Tennessee made and  presented the unit its regimental flag.

The Thirteenth USCI was initially stationed on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroads as labors, and as guards to other laborers, thus protecting them from confederate raiders led by Nathan Bedford Forrest.  

The service of the Thirteenth USCI On the railroad line and their military engagement at Johnsonville and Nashville would subsequently prove to contribute greatly to the demise of the confederate forces in the western theater.

During the first two years of the Civil War, the Nashville and Northwest Railroad line only ran from Nashville to Kingston Springs, Tennessee, a distance of about twenty-five miles.  Because the line did not extend to the Tennessee River, fifty miles further west, it was considered to be of little military importance.  The fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, and subsequent capture of Nashville, Tennessee in late February 1862 brought Federal forces into Middle Tennessee.  Nashville subsequently became the headquarters for the Union armies in the Western Theatre and the main hub for troop and supply movements through Tennessee.  In the summer of 1862, efforts to re-supply Nashville via the Cumberland River were hampered by low water.  Union authorities determined that a rail link from the Tennessee River to Nashville would be necessary to alleviate this recurring problem.  This line, they envisioned would provide the army with a dependable port that would receive shipments of supplies by boat up the Tennessee River from the Ohio River Valley year-round and distribute them by rail to Nashville.

The Nashville and Northwestern Railroad extension project became the top Union priority in Middle Tennessee.  In 1862 and early 1863, free black, as well as former Slaves were forced into service by the Federal army as laborers.

The extension of the railroad to Johnsonville, located on the Tennessee River, would subsequently be completed in record time.  During the construction and after completion, confederate forces continued to attack this vital supply line for the Union Army.  The Thirteenth USCI repelled confederate forces led by Nathan Bedford Forrest on several occasions as he attempted to disrupt this vital life line for the Union forces.  This seventy-five mile link to the Tennessee River subsequently allowed Union forces to amass supplies necessary to defend Nashville and set the stage for General Sherman to later begin his devastating campaign into the Deep South to break the backbone of the Confederacy. 

A portion of the Thirteenth was ordered back to Nashville from west Tennessee in December 1864 in anticipation that confederate forces would attack Fort Negley and the massive supply depot of the Union army located at Nashville.  After arriving in Nashville members of the 12th, 13th, and 100th USCI were consolidated into the Second Colored Brigade and placed under the command of Colonel Thompson. <p> </p>On December 16, 1864, the Second Colored Brigade participated in a decisive Union assault on Overton Hill (Peach Orchard Hill). During the assault the Thirteenth Regiment anchored the middle of a sustained charge into what would be later called a charge into hell itself.  While attacking head-on without support or even a covering artillery bombardment the confederate forces were able to concentrate their fire on the lone 13th Regiment.  Many federal infantrymen trapped on the slopes beneath the works watched in amazement as the 13th made straight for the line of blazing breastworks.  While sustaining heavy casualties they kept charging Overton Hill.Several sergeants had the colors, and one man jumped on top of the parapet and furiously shook his flag in the Rebels’ faces.  Five separate color-bearers were killed.  One after the other, seized a fallen flag, with the colored ladies of Murfreesboro, embroiled in the cloth attempting to plant the flag on the breastworks. After observing the fall of five separate color bearers of the Thirteenth Regiment, confederate General Holtzclaw wrote, “they came only to die”.  This confederate commander was so impressed by the valor of these black soldiers that he formally cited their bravery in his battle report, almost an unheard-of circumstance involving a Southern general. 

The subsequent defeat of confederate forces during the Battle of Nashville precipitated General Hood’s retreat into Northern Alabama.  The Second Colored Brigade participated in the pursuit of Hood’s forces until January 15, 1865 when it returned to Nashville.

After the Battle of Nashville portions of the Thirteenth returned to Johnsonville to guard the railroad line and bridges until the end of the war.  On July 7, 1865, the Thirteenth was transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, where it was later mustered out of service. 



Teeluv Williams

Mac Loving, Jr. 

Ron Myers

Thoughts on Juneteenth 2015 from the web:

Pro President Obama Blog

President Obeam's 2015 Statement