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The Black American West Museum & Heritage Center was founded in 1971 and preserves the narrative and artifacts associated with the African American impact on the development of the western United States. Based on the idea that one in three cowboys from the late 1800s were Black, the museum works to tell the complete story of Denver and Colorado’s African American cultural heritage. The museum is housed in the historic home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado's first licensed female African American physician, and is in the Five Points district which was considered the “Harlem of the West” in the 1920s to the 1950s. In 1998, the museum became the conservators of several plots of land in Dearfield, Colorado, which was a Black majority settlement founded by Oliver Toussaint Jackson in 1910. Preservation work on the remaining buildings and archaeological digs of the site is being conducted through a partnership with the University of Northern Colorado.


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