Transcript of interview with Gene Collins by Claytee D. White, August 31, 2000

Metadata

Digital ID
ohr000126
Title
Transcript of interview with Gene Collins by Claytee D. White, August 31, 2000
Narrator
Material Set
Interviewer
White, Claytee D.
Description
Interview with Gene Collins conducted by Claytee D. White on August 31, 2000. Collins grew up in Lake Providence, Louisiana, and moved to Las Vegas in 1966. While attending college, he worked at the Nevada Test Site and trained to be an electrician. He worked with John Patawski and later joined the Aaron Williams Youth Organization and founded a community baseball organization. As a state assemblyman, Collins was instrumental in getting the Martin Luther King Holiday Bill passed along with establishing the Sarah Allen Credit Union. Because of his involvement with the Ministerial Alliance, he was asked to run for president of the NAACP. Under his presidency, he addressed the lack of African Americans in the gaming industry in addition to filing the largest EEOC discrimination suit filed in the state of Nevada against The Mirage Hotel and Casino.
Abstract
Gene Collins was born to Gertha and Issac Collins in Lake Providence, Louisiana, in the northern part of the state. Gene's mother relocated to Las Vegas in the 1950s with his sisters but Gene stayed in Louisiana with his grandparents until college and then migrated to Las Vegas in 1966. Gene and his family lived in West Las Vegas which at the time was a thriving community due to segregation of the Strip. African Americans owned their own businesses, including medical clinics, beautician shops, night clubs, and restaurants. By the late 1950s, his parents owned their own home on the Westside. Gene found summer employment at Nevada Test Site while attending college. After the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, Gene had the opportunity to become an operator's engineer. Later he trained to be an electrician. Prior to getting married in 1964, he worked with youth organizations. He began working with John Patawski and later joined the Aaron Williams Youth Organization. He also founded the community baseball organization here in town. His wife's volunteer work includes working with auxiliary clubs and Operation Push. Gene recalls the assassination of Martin Luther King and the resulting riot. He ran for state assemblyman where he was instrumental in getting the Martin Luther King Holiday Bill passed along with establishing the Sarah Allen Credit Union. Because of his involvement with the Ministerial Alliance, he was asked to run for president of the NAACP. Under his presidency, he addressed the lack of African Americans in the gaming industry in addition to filling the largest EEOC discrimination suit filed in the state of Nevada against the Mirage. He feels the future of Las Vegas is not about black and white issues but more economic. We all have the right to disagree and not all think alike but can still do business together, because it's about survival. We can still differ and do business with each other; that's what Gene Collins would like to see.
Identified Individuals
Identified Corporate Bodies
Identified Neighborhood
Westside
Neighborhood City / Town
Source
CT247 .C64 2007
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
2000-08-31
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
Specific Genre (LCSH)
Language
Rights
This material may be protected by copyright. Personal, including educational and academic, use of this material is without restriction; but acknowledgement of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries is requested whether the use is oral, web or in print. Commercial use of any portion of this material requires permission. For further information please contact Digital Collections: http://digital.library.unlv.edu/contact. This document is an oral history. It is a spoken account of certain events and phenomena recorded at one particular moment and filtered through one individual's life experience, sensibility, and memory. As such, it should be considered a primary source rather than a final, verified, or complete narrative of the events it records.
Digital Publisher
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Digital Collection
Master Extent
2310 x 3149 pixels; 7.7 x 10.5 inches; 22,131,738 bytes; 68 images
Master File Format
Master File Quality
24 bit color; 300 ppi

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