Bronze and mosaic relief designed by Thomas Jay Warren.

2014 Black History Month Events

Juanita Ross GrayJuanita Ross Gray Community Service Award/Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame

Saturday, February 1, 1:30 Ford-Warren Branch Library

To honor the memory of Juanita Ross Gray, a former Denver Public Library staff member and dedicated community advocate, the Ford-Warren Branch Library presents awards to outstanding individuals.


Charles Everett PaceColorado Humanities Presents: Black History Live, Malcolm X

Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m. at Blair-Caldwell Library

The eminent national humanities and Chautauqua scholar Charles Everett Pace will portray Malcolm X, teaching how marginal outsiders become influential insiders.


Professor William H. Foster III"The Image of African Americans in Golden Age Comic Books" Presentation by Comic Book Historian Professor William H. Foster III

Saturday, February 15, 2 Blair-Caldwell Library

Exhibit: February 1-March 29

From the beginning of the rise of comic books in the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, there was a presence of Blacks characters. This presentation will take the audience on a journey to discover how these images paced the historic rise of American Americans in popular culture. Learn more about Professor William H. Foster III.


Breaking the Barriers 2.0 – The Black Experience. Image by Barry Gutierrez.U.S. Tennis Association Colorado Presents:
Breaking the Barriers 2.0 – The Black Experience

Exhibit: February 15-22
Blair-Caldwell Library, Level 2

Free and open to the public

Blair-Caldwell will feature a collection of portraits of local tennis pioneers by Pulitzer Prize winning local photographer, Barry Gutierrez. For the love of the game, the portraits showcase individuals who broke barriers, fought battles and experienced victories in an unassuming way. Their achievements include: the first African-American woman tennis umpire in Colorado, the first African-American to win the Colorado Open singles title, and more. Today, we benefit from the actions of these local heroes; people devoted to expanding tennis in Denver from the indulgence of a privileged few to a dynamically inclusive sporting experience for all its citizens. For more information please contact Paula McClain at 303-695-4116 x220 or See photos from the exhibit.


Crossing the Net: Denver City Park and the Black Tennis ExperienceCrossing the Net: Denver City Park and the Black Tennis Experience Film and Panel Discussion

Saturday, February 22, 2 Blair-Caldwell Library

If the blades of grass at City Park could talk, they would tell a story similar to this short documentary: about how Denver's African-American community faced barriers as it pursued better maintained and well-lit tennis courts to play on. You'll hear stories about Tariq "TQ" Abdul-Hamid, the first African-American inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame, and Walter Wedgeworth, Sr., who helped persuade the staff at City Park to open their courts to diversity in the '40s and '50s. 40mins, Unrated.

USTA Intermountain Colorado


TaRhonda ThomasI Love to Read Presented by the Denver Public Library and Volunteers of America Special guest reader: TaRhonda Thomas from Channel 9

Thursday, February 27, 10 Blair-Caldwell Library

Grades K-3. Free and Open to the Public. No Registration Required.

Children will receive a book from Scholastic.
Please contact the Blair-Caldwell Library at 720-865-2401 or email for more information.

Volunteers of America


Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history.

The AbolitionistsThe Abolitionists - Film
Part 1: Monday, February 3, 6 p.m. at Blair-Caldwell Library
Part 2: Wednesday, February 5, 6 p.m. at Blair-Caldwell Library

Freedom RidersFreedom Riders - Film
Sunday, January 19, 2 p.m. at Schlessman Family Branch Library

The Loving StoryThe Loving Story - Film
Sunday, January 26, 2 p.m. at Schlessman Family Branch Library
Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m. at Ford-Warren Branch Library
Monday, February 24, 6 p.m. at Blair-Caldwell Library

Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality: The Same, But Different - Discussion
Saturday, February 1, 2 p.m. at Schlessman Family Branch Library

Mindy Barton, Legal Director of The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado, will discuss GLBT marriage equality compared to the fight against anti-miscegenation laws.

Freedom RidersFreedom Riders - Film and Discussion
Thursday, February 13, 5:30 p.m. at Pauline Robinson Branch Library

Film and discussion with Special Guest Rev. James Peters, Jr.

Reverend Peters is a native of Washington, D.C. a author, activist, and the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Denver. Reverend Peters was at the founding meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and he worked directly with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He faced great violence during the marches and civil rights demonstrations in Albany, Georgia, in Selma and in Birmingham, Alabama. He was part of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the "I Have A Dream" speech. Rev. Peters has dedicated his life-long mission to bettering the mind, body and soul of his community.

Slavery by Another NameSlavery by Another Name - Film and Discussion
Saturday, February 22, 2 p.m. at Ford-Warren Branch Library

Film and discussion with Special Guest Hassan A. Latif CACII.

Hassan is the Founder and Executive Director of Second Chance Center, Inc. As a Certified Addictions Counselor he provides one on one and group counseling services throughout the Denver Metro area. A nationally certified Cognitive Behavior Change Facilitator (NCTI), he also directs the mentoring efforts of SCC, while returning to various Colorado Department of Corrections prisons, and local community corrections/half way house facilities, to offer the same supportive services. After serving almost 18 consecutive years in Colorado penitentiaries, Hassan embarked on a career trying to help others avoid prison. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, he helps to drive that organization’s mission to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in the State of Colorado. For more information about the center visit the website.

Civil RightsThe Condition of Civil Rights Today - Discussion
Saturday, March 1, 2 p.m. at Blair-Caldwell Library

Panel discussion.

Moderator: Vern Howard
Vern has been speaking publicly since the age of six, after giving his first oratorical presentation at the Union Missionary Baptist Church, in Denver Colorado on Easter Sunday 1967. Since that date, Vern has provided instructional seminars, presentations and has served as guest speaker for numerous organizations and government agencies throughout the United States for organizations such as the IRS, Denver Public Schools, and Chatfield & Columbine High Schools. Vern also delivered the Commencement Address for Life Skills School in Denver and a host of others. He served as the project manager of the building and un-veiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have A Dream monument in Denver’s City Park. Additionally, Vern was instrumental in organizing Denver’s participation in the Olympic Torch passage through the metro area, as well as the Denver Public Library grand re-opening and dedication to the community of the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. He is the owner and CEO of The Vern’s LLC.


Rita Lewis
Ms. Lewis is a proud Denver native, a graduate of George Washington High School,
Spelman College (Atlanta, GA) and the University of Colorado-School of Law. She is an attorney, a businesswoman and a 110% volunteer as the President of the Denver Branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). In addition to her work with the NAACP-Denver Branch, Ms. Lewis is a Board Member of the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center (DMFHC), an advisory board member of the Franklin DB Jackson Chapter of NABVETS (National Assoc. of Black Veterans) and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,

Brother Jeff Fard
A native of Northeast Denver, Jeff S. Fard, better known as brother jeff, is a multimedia journalist, historian and community organizer who lectures nationally speaking to youth, students, social organizations, and professionals about subjects including cultural identity and history, diversity, self-empowerment, community building, economic development, health disparities, and the uniting power of art. In 1994 he founded brother jeff’s Cultural Center - located in the historic Five Points District in Northeast Denver - and is founder, publisher and managing editor of the award-winning publication, 5 POINTS NEWS. Brother Jeff organizes nationally to help reduce the disproportionate HIV and AIDS rate and to create greater mental health awareness and access in the African-American Community. He currently serves as a board member for the Center for African American Health and is the past Board Chair of the Denver Foundation, which is the nations oldest and Colorado’s largest community foundation. He has received numerous honors for his work including being recognized by the late Steven Graham and the Community Resource Center as a “Legendary Leader of Colorado’s Nonprofit Sector.”

Adrian Green
A native of Northeast Denver, Adrian Michael Green is committed to giving back to the community.  Considering himself a creative enthusiast, Adrian works in all things multimedia and connects his passion of expression to help others tell their story while continuing to share his own.  A graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business he received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems. A firm believer that everyone has a story to tell, Adrian is dedicated to working with youth, students, and young professionals to hopefully be a reminder that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and it’s everyone’s responsibility to go back to their respective communities and help others be successful. Outside of work in the university setting, Adrian is a writer, photographer, public speaker, businessman and author; using his pen name, Adrian Michael, Adrian has self-published two books of poetry “loamexpressions” in 2012 and “Blinking Cursor” in 2013 and a self-help book entitled, “The Art of Self-Publishing” in 2013; all three are available on Amazon

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Please contact the Blair-Caldwell African Library at 720-865-2401 or email for more information.

National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Colorado Humanities


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