“Black On Track:
African American Connections and Stories”
Saturday, February 8
A Celebration of Black History Month
The Colorado Railroad Museum is commemorating Black History Month with the event, Black On Track: African American Connections and Stories on Saturday, February 8 from 9:00AM – 5:00PM.
“It’s an opportunity to tell the history of the connection between the railroad and African-Americans,” said Donald Tallman, Executive Director of the Colorado Railroad Museum.
One of those connections is the role of a Pullman porter.
Pullman porters, hired by George Pullman, were railroad employees who assisted passengers, especially on sleeping cars. These positions were held by male former slaves and helped establish the black middle class.
The African community had other connections with the railroad also. Many people would commute by train to northern cities in Colorado to shop or enjoy jazz because they couldn’t do these things in the south. They would buy newspapers in the north and then throw them out the railcar window along the way home to spread news to the black community.
The railroad provided opportunities for African Americans in Denver, and the thriving community of Five Points grew and developed as a result. It was also the source of the first unionizing efforts in the African-American community.
Black on Track is in collaboration with History Colorado, the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library and the Black American West Museum.
Listen to re-enactors share how the railroad touched the lives of the black community in the Denver area. View an exhibit from that will demonstrate the rich history of the black community in Colorado. And ride the train, which departs every 30 minutes between 10:00AM and 4:00PM.
Museum Members and Children under 2 are free, Children $5, Adults $15, Seniors (over 60) $10 and Families $30.