In honor of Black History Month, KNPR's State of Nevada is profiling different African American citizens who have made a difference in our state. Former State Senator Joe Neal spent 32 years in state politics. He's weighed in on issues from nuclear waste to hotel fire safety, and he's still vocal about the state's best interests even in retirement. That's a far cry from the teenager who arrived in the 1950s and wanted to run back to Louisiana when he saw all the "white sand, dust, and no trees." Sen. Joe Neal talks about how Las Vegas has evolved, for better or worse, his dealings with civil rights and white supremacy groups in the 1960s, his battles in the legislature, and what it will take for Nevada to pull out of the recession.