By Deborah Flomberg
February is African American History Month and there are lots of organizations, museums, lectures and classes happening all over the state – each offering its own way to explore the vast and important contributes of African Americans in Colorado and throughout the development of the United States.
If you’re looking for a few ways to expand your education this month, here are five local places all offering great places to start your African American historical research.
Black American West Museum and Heritage Center
3901 California St.
Denver, CO 80205
Since 1971 the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center has offered the city of Denver a wonderful place for Black history to come alive. Inside, you’ll find lots of very carefully preserved artifacts and exhibits as well as hands-on educational opportunities for all ages all working to detail the lives and history of the many Black Cowboys who helped to create what the American West is today. Make sure to swing by the gift shop while you’re there to grab some fascinating books and other items to continue your education long after you’ve left this wonderful museum. Museum memberships and other benefits are also available should you wish to keep the spirit of education going within your family throughout the year.
Black History Live 2018 Tour with Malcolm X
In honor of Black History Month, Colorado Humanities is offering a new series titled Black History Live. Part of this series will include a live portrayal of Malcolm X by local humanities and Chautauqua scholar Charles Everett Pace. This tour is visiting several high schools, conference centers, colleges and libraries throughout the Colorado area all month-long. Visitors will have a change to speak with Pace both as himself and in-character as Malcolm X. This series is a powerful opportunity to learn more about this important, controversial and outspoken leader of the civil rights movement. All of the tour events are free to attend.
Related: Top Historical Sites In Denver
Black Genealogy Search Group
Blair-Caldwell African American research Library
2401 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80205
What better way to honor Black History Month than to explore your own genealogy and your own history. The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library – which is another fantastic local resource for anything related to African American history both locally and nationally – offers a weekly beginning class designed to help research African American ancestors. The topics covered include census records, online resources and the many challenges of researching African American ancestors. Several courses with different focuses are available throughout the month. You can visit the Denver Library website to get detailed information on each class and what each week will offer.
Denver Firefighters Museum
1326 Tremont Place
Denver, CO 80204
In another of Denver’s smaller museums, the Denver Firefighters Museum also offers exhibits to honor black firefighters in the Denver Fire Department. During the month of February you can visit this local museum to learn all about the challenges local Black firefighters fought in what used to be a segregated career. You might be surprised to uncover this vast and fascinating history. This is also a wonderful opportunity to learn more about one of the best small museums in the world with lots of innovative and hands-on exhibits detailing the mysterious world of fighting fires.
Related: Top Historical Tours In Denver
Stiles African American Heritage Center
2607 Glenarm Place
Denver, CO 80205
This lovely, smaller museum and heritage center is also located in one of Denver’s most historic neighborhoods. The Stiles African American Heritage Center is located right in the heart of Denver’s historically African American Five Points neighborhood. Founded in 1992, the goal of the center is to highlight the contributions of African Americans to the development and progress of this country and you’ll find lots of fascinating artifacts and exhibits all working to tell these stories. The museum offers guided tours, cultural exhibits, lectures and more year-round, but February and African American History Month is always a great chance to expand your knowledge and history at this great local museum.