Transcript of interview with Cora Williams by Kathlyn E. Wilson, March 11, 1975


Digital ID
Transcript of interview with Cora Williams by Kathlyn E. Wilson, March 11, 1975
Material Set
Wilson, Kathlyn E.
Interview with Cora Williams conducted by Kathlyn E. Wilson on March 11, 1975. Born in Louisiana in 1930, Williams arrived in Las Vegas in 1952. She began working as a hotel maid and later owned a beauty shop. Williams discusses the NAACP and housing discrimination.
Cora Williams, a black business woman who owns her own beauty shop, discusses her life and experiences in Las Vegas since her arrival in 1952. Although she first worked as a maid in the hotel industry, her chief work experience in southern Nevada has been as an operator-owner of a beauty salon. Williams tells of the job discrimination suffered by blacks in Strip hotels and the building trades industry. She credits the NAACP with bringing about change and improving job opportunity in the hotel industry. Williams has lived in several locations on the Westside. She describes the difficulties blacks had in obtaining mortgage loans or funds for home improvement. She tells how, thrown upon their own resources, blacks financed and built their homes through cooperative effort. Her chief community interest has been her church activity in the Second Baptist Church, but she has worked for some political candidates and mentions Howard Cannon, Rev. Marion Bennett, Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, and Dr. Charles I. West. She recalls a visit that Gov. Grant Sawyer made to her shop during his last campaign. Williams is a member of the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology and describes briefly the activities of that board. She ascribes improvements in public school education in Las Vegas to federally enforced busing. Williams reminisces about early Helldorado Days at Helldorado Village. She mentions Mother Nettles as an early black resident of Las Vegas who subsequently became a large land owner on Stewart Street. Recalling the Las Vegas event that most impressed her, Williams describes Dr. James A. MacMillan's confrontation with downtown and Strip businessmen and hotels over black use of their facilities.
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Identified Neighborhood
Neighborhood City / Town
F849.L35 W64
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Subject (FAST)
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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: 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
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Master Extent
2248 x 3148 pixels; 7.493 x 10.493 inches; 14,737,408 bytes; 17 images
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24 bit color; 300 ppi

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