Transcript of interview with Rachel Coleman by Claytee D. White, July 24, 1996


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Transcript of interview with Rachel Coleman by Claytee D. White, July 24, 1996
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Interview with Rachel Coleman conducted by Claytee D. White on July 24, 1996. Born in Fayette, Mississippi, Coleman moved to Las Vegas in the 1950s and began washing dishes at the Tropicana. In 1969, having worked for a number of hotels, she was promoted to executive housekeeper at The Hacienda. She ran for president of the Culinary Union in 1987. Coleman recalls Las Vegas race and labor relations through the decades.
Rachel Coleman was born in in Fayette, Mississippi. When she was twenty, she moved to Las Vegas with her first child, to join her husband who moved out four months earlier. Her first job in Las Vegas was washing glasses at the Tropicana. Low wages and poor working conditions drew Rachel to join the culinary union. Rachel worked on and off in hotels at such as the Hacienda, the Tally Ho and the Sahara and Tropicana to name a few. In 1969 she was promoted to executive housekeeper at The Hacienda. In 1973 Rachel became a representative for the Culinary Union 226 and in 1981 she became department head of the union. Her assent in the Culinary Union culminates in her running for president in 1987. Through her employment in the hotels, going out on Jackson Street, working for the Culinary Union and raising a family, Rachel recalls the atmosphere of Las Vegas in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. By framing a narrative of living and working in a city ever changing in race and labor relations, Rachel Coleman's story peels back the veneer of Las Vegas and shows the world beyond the bright lights of the Strip.
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CT247 .C636 2007
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Original Date (interview)
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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.
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University of Nevada Las Vegas
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