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Black History Maker in Las Vegas: Claytee D. White

Claytee White
Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 11:20:51-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Claytee D. White is the inaugural director of the Oral History Research Center for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries.

White says her Master's program at UNLV opened the door to her destiny in oral history. She immersed herself in all things Vegas and a special assignment in grad school drew her to the Las Vegas Black community.

"I wrote a thesis to get my master's degree and that thesis started my research in the Black community of course you can't research the Black community without researching the whole community so, unlike American history, I included everyone in the history as I did my research, therefore, I began to learn the history of Las Vegas," White said.

White's work didn't stop there, she and five others founded the Las Vegas Black Historical Society Inc., a hub for those looking to learn more about the valley's Black community.

At the time White finished her Master's degree, UNLV did not have an oral history program.

It wasn't until the University found funding for the program that the center came to be in 2003.

White was offered the job of a lifetime, to develop and be the first director of the Oral History Research Center.

Currently, the OHRC conducts interviews and serves as a real-time history book for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

White is the go-to history guru in every community, a pioneer in Black culture and a shining light in academia.

Find out more about Claytee D. White here.