The Las Vegas Black Historical Society proudly presented a reception to celebrate the long awaited unveiling of the group's historic inaugural “Las Vegas Black Historical Society Commemorative Book” Volume 1. The event was held on Saturday, May 2, 2009 inside the Worldview Ballroom at the World Market Center .
Katherine Joseph, President of the Las Vegas Black Historical Society and Katherine Duncan of the Las Vegas Heritage House welcomed guests. The cocktail Mix and Mingle reception started with hors d'oeuvres provided by Creative Catering, After an invocation by Reverend Marion D. Bennett, the official book, Las Vegas Black Renaissance, was unveiled.
The book honors past and present pioneers in the Black community and highlights the work and achievements of a number of African-Americans who have helped to shape the Las Vegas Valley . A tribute in the “Gone but Not Forgotten” segment honors legends lost. Dedications to Living Legends such as Sarann Knight-Preddy (Moulin Rouge founder) and Alice Keys (1st Black columnist), to name just a few, are also included. Each guest received a copy of the book that included scenes from the Las Vegas Inaugural Ball that was hosted by the Society in honor of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
The event attracted dignitaries, and influential and affluent members of the city’s African-American community. Some of those present were: Congresswoman Dina Titus, Sarann Knight-Preddy, Katherine Duncan, Frank Hawkins (former NFL professional football player and former Las Vegas City Councilman who was the 1st elected Las Vegas Black official), Jo Cady, Claytee D. White, Ida Gaines, Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey (Civil Rights Pioneer), Ruby Duncan and Katherine Joseph.
The evening was filled with live entertainment that never stopped. M.C.’s were Jamerson Holloway (Record Executive Skidogrecords) and Joy La Shawn (On-air Personality/Power 88.1 FM) who kept guests not only involved, but also interactive with what was going on. Dance music was by Mad Camp. A Rap, Dancing group EQ (Equal Equality) were sensational, as was a President Obama tribute by a youngster, who as President Obama, presented the Presidential Inaugural speech so beautifully. When he finished the speech, a very young girl dressed in a white gown, came up to this young man as President Obama, and they danced together as the first Inaugural dance to the singing of ‘At Last’ by another young lady. It was a lovely tribute and the audience went wild. Entertainment continued with the Love Brothers, Stephanie Anderson and Lady V. Then dancing went on and on. This was an evening that was filled with pride and fun for all.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Society's efforts to operate and maintain a Black Historical and Cultural Center at 1001 "F" Street. This was the home to famous entertainers who were denied access to the Las Vegas strip during segregation. This will continue the legacy of Sammy Davis, Jr., Pearl Bailey and Louis Armstrong, just to name a few, and will insure a permanent exhibit of artifacts and historic memorabilia.