Personal data for Claude Parson


Digital ID
Personal data for Claude Parson
Birth Date
State of Birth
Country of Birth
United States of America;
HT State
HT Country
United States of America;
Material Set
Mrs. Parson and her husband, Reverend Claude H. Parson, teachers and ministers, discuss their experiences in Las Vegas. Stella Mason Parson came to Las Vegas as a child in 1942 with her family. She attended elementary and secondary school in Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno. She tells of her experiences with segregation and discrimination in Reno. Nevada elementary schools, secondary schools, and university were not then segregated, but she relates the indignities she suffered outside the classroom. When her family first came to Las Vegas, there was a great shortage of housing for Blacks on the Westside, and Mrs. Parson discusses discrimination practiced by bankers which prevented Blacks from obtaining mortgage loans. She describes the tent homes people were forced to live in, the poor streets, outside toilets, etc. Mrs. Parson notes that opportunities have opened up for Blacks. Now, as opposed to the past, Blacks are in the professions, and she discusses her teaching career. Claude H. Parson came to Nellis Air Force Base in 1952 and, shortly thereafter, met his wife-to-be, Stella Mason, who was a teacher. Parson narrates his efforts, after his discharge from the Air Force, to establish himself professionally as an educator in the Clark County school system where his wife was already employed. He describes the first experiment in Clark County of placing black teachers in predominately white schools. After a nineteen year career in Las Vegas schools as a teacher and an administrator, he realized a lifelong dream of becoming a minister. Reverend Parson tells how he started a church and the financial innovations he instituted. He recalls the difficulties his father experienced in the South in obtaining education and how his father, a man of little education, moved his young family from Alabama to New York state so that his children might have educational opportunities denied him. Reverend Parson notes the progress blacks have made in Las Vegas, particularly in the professions. He points out that it has been the government through the courts and legislation that has given blacks equal opportunity. He says blacks only need the opportunity to get their foot into the door. He describes the lack of housing for blacks on the Westside when he first came to Las Vegas and the difficulty people had then in obtaining mortgage loans. He tells how people through their own ingenuity provided new homes for themselves until the coming of government housing projects and bank financing. Reverend Parson comments on the TV movie Roots, praising it for its honest portrayal of the black man and his aspirations for freedom. He believes Roots has had a positive influence for good in America.
Link to Interview Transcript
Link to Interview Audio Clip
Selected Photographs
Identified Neighborhood
Westside, Jackson Street;
Neighborhood City / Town
F849.L35 P37
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Subject (FAST)
Graphic Elements (TGM)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
Specific Genre (LCSH)
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Digital Publisher
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Digital Collection
Master File Quality

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