Denver’s Black American West Museum Wins $150,000 In National Contest

Black American West Museum & Heritage Center (credit: CBS)

The Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver has won $150,000 in funding from a national contest. The money will be used to preserve the building that tells the story of Dr. Justina Ford and other African American pioneers from Colorado.

“This is so critical to the history of the Five Points neighborhood that we share Dr. Ford’s story,” said Terry Gentry, who is part of the all-volunteer staff for the museum located on 3091 California Street.

Dr. Ford became the first licensed black woman doctor in Colorado — and delivered more than 7,000 babies during her 50-year career.

Despite receiving a medical license, she was not allowed to practice at a hospital. Ford purchased the home on California Street in 1911 and invited patients to visit her there.

“Denied access to local hospitals, Colorado’s first licensed female African American doctor Justina Ford instead treated patients at her home office, helping circumvent the racial and economic barriers to their medical care,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation website states.

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Source: CBS Denver