Sunday, December 5, 2021

O Yeah!

Anna Bailey

Oprah Winfrey’s daily online publication honors Las Vegas icon Anna Bailey.

Oprah Daily recently featured longtime local icon Anna Bailey in its “Lift Every Voice” feature, which highlighted extraordinary African-American seniors across the country. Journalism majors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities were given the opportunity to profile the selected seniors, working alongside up-and-coming Black photographers. 

According to Oprah Winfrey, “When we were first talking about doing this feature … I couldn’t help but think about my mentor and sister friend Dr. Maya Angelou. We often talked about how important it is to know where we come from so we can continue to build to where we need to go. This feature tells stories of our oldest generation of Black Americans. We celebrate our elders’ life experiences and … stories that would have otherwise slipped into the white noise of history.” 

Anna Bailey arrived in Las Vegas in 1955, one of the original dancers for the historic Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino, America’s first integrated establishment of its kind. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Bailey also performed as a dancer in the Apollo Theatre and many other historic venues that opened doors for Black entertainers. 

Bailey is also the mother of Las Vegas Black Image publisher Kimberly Bailey Tureaud, and will celebrate her 95th birthday in August. Anna and her husband, the late William H. Bob Bailey, planted legendary roots in Las Vegas as business owners, civil right leaders and economic development pioneers contributing to the cultural diversity we all enjoy today. 

Gratitude overwhelmed Bailey as she recounts the recognition by Oprah Daily. 

“I was just thrilled that Oprah and her organization knew my name,” she said. “And to call me and want an interview with me was a dream come true. I have always been in awe of Oprah and her success. I was just so excited, and it was an experience I never had before. The fact that she created space to hear from some of the elder citizens shows you what kind of woman she is. It was just a pleasure and something I will never forget.”

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