Wednesday, February 27 2013 10:09 PM EST2013-02-28 03:09:38 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- One of the oldest communities in the Las Vegas valley has seen many changes and experienced a decline since its glory days during the last century. Even so, historic west Las Vegas is stillMore>>
One of the oldest communities in the Las Vegas valley has seen many changes and experienced a decline since its glory days during the last century.More>>
Wednesday, February 27 2013 9:03 PM EST2013-02-28 02:03:06 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- For years assumptions and stereotypes have crippled the historic west Las Vegas neighborhood. The once thriving black community of the early 1900's is now growing at a snail's pace. TheMore>>
For years assumptions and stereotypes have crippled the historic West Las Vegas neighborhood. The once thriving black community in the early 1900's is now growing at a snail's pace.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:25:46 GMT
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible. Police say two men tried to rob the child of the device on Thursday.More>>
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:09:50 GMT
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball. The jackpot has grown to $600 million. People tell 8 News Now they waitedMore>>
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:17:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County firefighters are responding to reports of an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane. This is a developing story. 8NewsNOW. com willMore>>
One person is reported dead following an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:03:09 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said. Bonanza High School student Marcos Arenas died ThursdayMore>>
The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:42 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:42:38 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staffMore>>
The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staff member.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- Historic west Las Vegas, one of the oldest communities in the valley with a rich history, has declined since its heyday.
Starting in the 1930s, historic west Las Vegas served as an example of the racism that divided the nation and city.
Today, the area is in the central part of the valley, between US 95 and Interstate-15.
The area was founded as the McWilliams townsite, later becoming known as "Westside" because of its location west of the railroad tracks.
The area was a crucial transportation hub for white miners in 1905 and by the 1930s, blacks began purchasing land and running businesses.
But Jim Crow laws segregated black Americans to the Westside, creating a close-knit community.
Family, freedom and the pursuit of prosperity depicts life in the historic Westside around 1930.
"We socialized together, we worked together," said Hannah Brown, a Westside School graduate.
Brenda Williams, an author and historian, said businesses included barbershops, beauty shops and pool halls.
Despite racial discrimination and hatred, hope was alive.
"This was a village of individuals who cared for each other," Williams said, who authored "Westside School: Our School, Our Community, Our Time."
Growing up, her father, Richard, was a Teamster, and mother, Juanita, was a casino maid who later managed the North Las Vegas Housing Authority.
Whether at home or school, education was king.
"It's reflected in the number of photos, the number of write-ups about the spelling bee winners from Westside School, (for example) the award winning Westside School band," Williams said.
Brown and Williams attended Westside School together. Built in 1923, the school was the first to be built in west Las Vegas and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The highlight of my life was being at school," Brown said. "They expected you to peak your potential."
And so Brown did. She operated the longest-running black business and became the longest-serving president of the Urban Chamber, which pushed casinos to consider black Americans as managers.
At the time, blacks could only work as maids, porters or musicians.
"When you speak of the black entertainers not being able to socialize in the hotels that they appeared in; it was good for us because they all came to the west side," Brown said.
Today, empty lots fill the spaces where popular casinos used to be, such as the Jackson Hotel and Carver House. In the 1940s, Jackson Avenue was the place to be for everyone who was anyone.
It's on the west side of town where businessman John Edmond said blacks did more than just survive.
"All of the business people in this area were black women," he said. "A lot of people don't know that."
No one knew the radiance would soon fade when Las Vegas became integrated.
"It was just a beautiful time," Williams said.
Although racial barriers were broken, equality became an everyday fight and black businesses stopped supporting one another, forever changing the tight-knit community.
"When we were allowed to buy homes in any area of town that we could afford to live in, then of course people that had access to funds moved into integrated areas and it divided the community," Brown said.
Black Americans no longer had to live, gamble or dine in west Las Vegas.
Desegregation didn't eliminate all the money or people, but it did damage the economy.