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1/22/21 - Happy 150th Birthday to Colorado’s first Black female physician!! (Virtual Event)
Location: www.bawmhc.org (link will be provided) and Denver Community Media on Comcast Channel 56, 57, 881 HD
January 22, 2021 marks Dr Justina Ford 's 150th birthday and on this day the Black American West Museum (BAWM) celebrates her contribution to the health of the state with a live streamed tribute.
The two hour event showcases not only birthday greetings and interviews from her remaining patients and community organizations, but also a range of performances such as a reenactment of Dr Ford's only known interview and the first ever public display of the handwritten letter to the Colorado Medical Society that documents her delivery of 7,000 babies in her 50 year career.
The broadcast, sponsored by Denver Community Media, takes place at the oldest African American house of worship in the Rocky Mountain West, Zion Baptist Church, where Ford was once the ‘First Lady’.
In addition to the celebration, her date of birth is now officially known as ’Dr Justina Ford Day’, following the issuance of a mayoral proclamation that recognizes her medical care to the Denver community.
Many of Dr. Ford’s Black and Hispanic patients faced similar discrimination at city hospitals due to race and economic class. Dr. Ford often accepted services and food items in lieu of payment. When she did a house call to a home that was lacking in food or heat, she often sent a basket of groceries or coal following her visit.
She is best known for her obstetrics and pediatric work, and many patients knew her as the “Baby Doctor”.
BAWM produces this historic event with the financial support of the Bank of Colorado, US Bank and Denver Medical Society. It is a unique opportunity to celebrate and reflect Dr. Ford’s life and her commitment to serving all patients in need of health care.
Media inquiries - Sylvia@lambepr.com / 720-276-3880
Be a Foundation Builder of the Museum: Buy a Brick
Restoration of Dr. Justina Ford’s historic house is underway. These renovations are made possible by grants from the State Historical Fund and The National Trust Partners in Preservation. The first phase of the renovations revealed more structural issues and additional costs.
Phase one, which included exterior paint removal, revealed the poor condition of the original brickwork. An estimated 400 bricks will need to be replaced or require reverse facing. Each replacement brick costs $25 each, and an additional $10,000 is needed to complete the project. The museum is extending an invitation to all of its supporters to purchase a brick (or several) to sustain the legacy of Dr. Ford and contribute to the future of the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center.
Donations can be made by online by clicking HERE or checks can be mailed directly to the Black American West Museum, 3091 California St., Denver, CO 80205. (Please note in the memo line: "Restoration Bricks")
Help Sustain Equal Justice for African Americans - Dearfield Preservation
In donating to the Dearfield Preservation Fund at the Black American West Museum, you are joining many others in ensuring that the story of Colorado's and America's African American struggles for equal justice and opportunity are preserved for present day and future generations. The town and farm colony of Dearfield was founded in southeast Weld County, northeastern Colorado, in 1910 by businessman O.T. Jackson. It was one of many such settlements founded in the west and mid-west from the late 1800s through the early 20th century. Dearfield grew and thrived for two decades before being ended by the twin climate and economic disasters of the Dust Bowl and Depression.
Over the past three decades, the Black American West Museum has been acquiring Dearfield townsite land in order to protect it from vandalism and destruction by modern development. The townsite was placed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and renewed efforts to protect town buildings and scientifically study its past, in the form of the Dearfield Dream Project, were begun in 2008 by a partnership of Colorado universities, historic preservation non-profits, and community groups. A sustained plan of historic building anti-vandalism measures, rehabilitation, and, starting this year, aided by a new $498,000 National Park Service grant, restoration of still standing and partially collapsed buildings will begin. Your donated dollars will go toward townsite protection and maintenance, public and school tours of the site, an on-site seasonal museum and education center, and grant match funding for a variety of Dearfield preservation projects, including University of Northern Colorado archaeological excavations that involve pre-collegiate and college student and community volunteer participation. You can learn more about Dearfield by linking to a History Colorado podcast, "The Dearest Field" (56:38), first broadcast in 2019. The link provided below takes you to History Colorado's Lost Highways podcast series where you scroll down the list of podcasts to the Dearfield program. We deeply appreciate your joining us in celebrating and preserving the Dearfield legacy. For more information, visit Lost Highways: Dispatches from the Shadows of the Rocky Mountains | History Colorado
Donations can be made by online by clicking HERE or checks can be mailed directly to the Black American West Museum, 3091 California St., Denver, CO 80205. (Please note in the memo line: "Dearfield Preservation")
Dearfield Lodge-Caption: Historic photo of Dearfield Lodge, later the Jackson Family home, in ca. 1920. Photo from a Dearfield Resort advertising poster.
O.T. Jackson with Booker T. Washington, Jr. family-Caption: Oliver Toussaint Jackson, founder of Dearfield, with Booker T. Washington, Jr. family in cornfield. Booker T. Washington, deceased at the time of this photo, was a prominent advocate of African American rights and self-sufficiency in the late 19th century and his ideas inspired creation of the Dearfield colony. Photo from a 1919 article on Dearfield by William Harsha of Grand Lake, Colorado.