Jackie Brantley, born in Las Vegas following World War II, grew up in the Westside at a time when the predominately black area of the city was at its peak. Her family moved to Las Vegas for better opportunities and Brantley has spent her entire life in Las Vegas.
She attended the Westside Elementary School and graduated from Rancho High School. Following her graduation, she began working as a maid, but quit after six months to marry. She then worked for the Clark County School District as a secretary until she gave birth to her son in 1974.
Brantley soon took a job at the Desert Inn in publicity. She worked with many of the entertainers that performed at the resort. She also formed a friendship with Alex Haley during this time. In 1978, Brantley left the Desert Inn to take care of her son and aging mother.
Brantley returned to the Westside and worked with the Nucleus Associates who were building a shopping center in the area. She also did some modeling work. Later, she went to work for the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Brantley’s narrative contains a description of her varied work history, from housekeeping to mid-management public relations. Recognizing value in all types of labor, she believes her first job as a maid instilled a sense of pride in maintaining a clean home. Jackie Brantley still believes that her beloved Westside continues to be the “heart of the city.”
Photo courtesy of Jackie Brantley.
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