Washington, DC—Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement on the first day of Black History Month:
“This month we recognize the immense contributions African-Americans have made to this country – from innovations in science and technology to accomplishments in the arts and culture to improvements in all of our communities.
“As we celebrate our shared history, it is also important that we celebrate all the chapters of that history. There was a time when a black entertainer could sing to guests in a Las Vegas Strip hotel, but not rent a room there. Then Nevada leaders like Donald Clark, J. David Hoggard Sr., Dr. James B. McMillian, Woodrow Wilson, Lubertha Johnson, Dr. Charles I. West, Dr. William “Bob” Bailey, and Sarann Knight Preddy fought for the rights of every American – no matter what the color of their skin.
“In remembering the dedicated African-American activists who fought in Nevada and around the nation to ensure that all people are treated equally in this country, we should also reflect on the oppression that inspired them to fight for those rights. Men and women, like Reverend Jesse Scott and Ruby Duncan, pushed on to integrate the gaming industry despite discrimination. Although we have come a long way since the days when Sammy Davis Jr. couldn’t eat with the rest of the Rat Pack in a Strip restaurant, we must continue to work every day toward greater understanding and equality for all people.”