Tour 6: The "Harlem of the West": Five Points and the African American History of Denver and the West
Tour leaders: Terry Nelson, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and Terri Gentry, Black American West Museum and Heritage Center
Five Points, dubbed “the Harlem of the West,” emerged as Denver’s first African American neighborhood around the turn of the 20th century. It remains the heart of the city’s African American cultural and historical identity to this day. Using library and museum visits and a walk along Five Points’ historic Welton Street, this tour will explore the history of African Americans in Denver and place that history in the wider context of the black American West. The tour will begin at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, which houses collections and exhibits on black migration to the West and the cultural, social, political, and business history of Five Points, along with a rotating art gallery. We will then walk through the heart of Five Points, past landmarks like the Rossonian Hotel, once a major stop on the nation’s jazz circuit, to the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, whose exhibits highlight the lives and experiences of African American ranchers, farmers, cowboys, and Buffalo Soldiers, among others. At the end of the tour, participants may choose to have lunch at the Welton Street Café, a longtime family establishment serving soul food and Caribbean jerk (lunch is not included in the price of the tour).
Please note: Transportation between the Convention Center and Five Points will be by light rail. The tour will involve an approximately eight-block walk between the library and the museum. The library and first floor of the museum are ADA-accessible, but the other floors of the museum are accessible only by stairs.
Limit 30 people. $20 members, $25 nonmembers