Las Vegas in the 1950s was very much the same as it is today. It was a tourism hot spot: the city had nightlife, art, and businesses of all kinds. But Las Vegas had something else too, that overshadowed its economic prosperity.
It also had horrible, explicit racism. It was so bad, our people called it the Mississippi of the West! One journalist called it a “virtual hell-hole of racial prejudice.”
Instead of opportunity, our people found a resistant and violent opposition to anything not white. How did it get so bad?
Banks refused our people loans for businesses and homes. As the city expanded, we were denied opportunities for big contracts. We were excluded from the promise of wealth in the city. So what did we do?