A Front Row Seat To History
Western Legacies, the gallery and exhibition space on Level Three
of the Library, allows visitors to follow the footsteps of African
Americans who settled the West, from early pioneers to present day
heroes. An exhibition space spanning more than 7,000 square feet,
tells the stories of people, places and events that shaped the American
West through words, audio-visuals and artifacts of African Americans.
Tours and programming for adults and families will be available
throughout the year. For details, call 720-865-2401.
The Earliest Arrivals:
||You may be surprised — it wasn’t gold
mines or railroads that introduced African Americans to the
West. Meet Esteban, a Moroccan slave who survived a shipwreck
and came to “New Spain” in the 1500s. Learn how
runaway slaves married Florida Seminoles and found new lives
Early Black West:
||Explore the early Black settlements in Colorado
and the West. Then visit Robert Smith’s Barber Shop and
listen as he tells the story of bringing his family out of slavery
and finally, to Denver.
Five Points and Welton Street:
||How did Denver’s Five Points neighborhood
evolve from a “streetcar suburb” to the vibrant,
historic heart of African American Denver? Watch a video in
a replica of the famous Roxy Theater. Go rockin’ with
deejay Leroy Smith, owner of Rhythm Records and Sports Shop
whose music will take you back to Five Points’ heyday.
African American Leadership Gallery:
||Denver and Colorado shaped countless African American leaders.
Meet Elizabeth Ensley, who helped Colorado women gain the right
to vote in 1893; State Representative and First Lady of Denver
Wilma Webb, who worked to establish Colorado’s Martin
Luther King Jr. holiday, and Elvin Caldwell, Denver’s
first Black city councilman.
Mayor’s Campaign Trail:
||Walk the campaign trail with the Mayor and Mrs. Webb. You
can also visit a replica of the Office of the Mayor and learn
about other distinguished Denver mayors.
The Changing Exhibit Space:
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