Black History encompasses far more than the month of February can contain, but that does not mean that we all should not use February to remember, recognize, and retell stories of the important African-American men and women who have shaped our lives and communities.
For me, one such person is my grandfather, Addeliar Dell Guy III, or Judge Guy as he was commonly known here in Nevada.
Judge Guy came to Nevada by way of Chicago in the early 1960’s. Ted Marshall, the District Attorney at the time, persuaded him that a real difference could be made by moving to Las Vegas and practicing law. At the time, Las Vegas was beginning a long overdue diversity initiative, or it should be said a group men and women were pushing Las Vegas forward: Judge Guy became one of those individuals.
After passing the Nevada bar, Judge Guy became the first African-American Deputy District Attorney in 1966. Judge Guy would go on to become the first Chief District Attorney, followed by Governor Michael O’Callaghan appointing him to Eighth Judicial District Court, Dept. XI, in 1975: making Judge Guy the First African-American Nevada state court Judge. Judge Guy would serve on the bench for over 20 years, rising as high as an alternate judge on the Nevada Supreme Court.
Along with a remarkable amount of firsts, Judge Guy was an active mentor for men, women, and attorneys in Nevada. In 1981, Judge Guy along with, Robert Archie, Andras F. Barbero, B. Jeanne Banks, Marcus Cooper, James Davidson, Michael Allen Davis, David Dean, Booker T. Evans, James O. Porter, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Dan Winder, Arthur L. Williams, Jr. and Justice of the Peace Earle W. White, Jr founded the Las Vegas National Bar Association Chapter (LVNBA). Judge Guy, also, was a founding member of the Las Vegas Theta Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc in 1964.
While it is impossible—for me—to write how much Judge Guy influenced (and still influences) countless attorneys, future attorneys, and people in our the Nevada community, it is possible to write that he left a lasting impact on Las Vegas, the state of Nevada—its citizens, and myself. It is an honor, therefore, for me to remember, recognize, and retell a piece of the Judge Guy story during Black History Month.