Transcript from interview with Rejoyce Williams by Claytee White, June 12, 1996


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Transcript from interview with Rejoyce Williams by Claytee White, June 12, 1996
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Rejoyce Williams moved to Las Vegas with her husband and their six children in 1960. Williams grew up in Fordyce, Arkansas, and has also lived in California. When she arrived in Las Vegas, she worked as a maid at the Las Vegas Hilton and participated in the Culinary Union strike in 1970. In the interview, she discusses her involvement in church activities, and other anecdotes from her employment.
Rejoyce Williams was born in Fordyce, Arkansas. She left Fordyce when she was 17 for Oceanside, California, with her husband and their two children. The couple then moved to Saginaw, Michigan, and eventually had nine children, six of whom survived. In 1960 the couple and their six children removed to Las Vegas, Nevada, for two reasons: their youngest daughter, who suffered from asthma, needed to live in a dry climate and Rejoyce's mother in law lived in Las Vegas. As a member of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church and the Fordyce Club Williams served and helped strengthen Las Vegas's black community of in a variety of ways. As a domestic worker in the hotel industry, Williams participated in the historic four-day strike by Culinary Workers Local 226 that shut down most major Las Vegas hotels. During her years at the Las Vegas Hilton (1973 - 1984), Williams's hourly wage rose from 28 dollars to 45 dollars per day. Also at the Hilton she was accused of theft on more than one occasion when the thefts were actually committed by her inspectress (immediate supervisor). Williams left the Hilton when she was injured on the job in 1984; in 1985 she finally received disability benefits only after months of rehabilitation and persistent re-applying.
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F850.N4 W545 2012
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