15,000 African Americans, 10 percent of the city’s general population, were forced to live in a segregated section of the city called the “Westside.” The area, once J.T. McWilliams’ original Las Vegas Townsite, lay behind a “cement curtain” barrier across the railroad tracks from Fremont Street. In the late 1950s, the conditions in the town hadn’t changed much since McWilliams’ time, and the ten square block area stood in stark contrast to the glamorous resorts of the Strip. The Westside had neither running water, nor working sewage lines, nor paved streets. For all that, it was its own town with its own churches and schools, a middle-class community where people took care of each other and lived well because of the wages paid on the Strip.