Judge Lee Gates was born in Louisiana in the 1940s, but moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1960 with his father. His mother had moved there earlier, gotten a job, and established a home in the historical Westside neighborhood of Las Vegas. He was a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a member of the Black Student Association and studied under professor Roosevelt Fitzgerald, who raised his awareness of black history. Gates participated in the civil rights movement and worked as a lawyer before becoming a judge. He discusses Jackson Street, Dr. Charles West, attorney Charles Kellar, and his own involvement with Ruby Duncan's group.