Transcript of Interview with Barbara Kirkland


Digital ID
Transcript of Interview with Barbara Kirkland
Community Affiliation
Material Set
White, Claytee D.;
On a sunny day in 1946, the train from Shreveport, Louisiana, stopped at The Plaza hotel in downtown Las Vegas like it always did. But on this particular day, Atha Toliver and her only child, twelve-year-old Barbara, stepped off the train and onto the dusty Western street of Fremont. Narrator Barbara Bates Kirkland recalls that event and living in Las Vegas for most of the next seven decades during this 2004 interview. Like many others who migrated from the South, Barbara Kirkland’s mother would find employment as a maid. A friend who already lived in Las Vegas had told her of the good paying jobs as private maid. So Atha who was determined that her daughter would get an education and a finer future saw this as her opportunity to achieve this for her daughter. Later, the entrepreneurial and creative mother opened Eva’s Flower Basket, a floral shop that Barbara operates in her retirement from teaching. Barbara returned to Louisiana for her senior year in high school, attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, and then returned to Las Vegas to teach first grade at Westside School. Barbara was active in the community, was a founding member of Les Femmes Douze, involved with Zion United Methodist Church and was friends with many of the early African American community leaders at the time. She talks about these, describes various neighborhoods where she lived and about raising her own two children in Las Vegas. Barbara was a founding member of Les Femmes Douze. AKA/Akateens.
Identified Neighborhood
Westside; Downtown;
Neighborhood City / Town
F850.N4.K57 2012
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Alternative Date
Interviewed Nov. 12, 2004 by Claytee D. White
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
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 University Libraries
Digital Collection

Cite this Item

When linking to this object, please use the following URL:,637



Subscribe to recent comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment below!