Colorado Music Hall of Fame is proud to partner with the Black American West Museum’s board member and volunteer docent, Terri Gentry, on a music-themed Walking Tour of Denver’s Historic Five Points neighborhood.
We hope you will join us for an educational stroll down the streets of Five Points to learn more about how the historic and vibrant music scene was both influenced by –and influenced– the political environment of the time. Known as the “Harlem of the West,” the Five Points neighborhood was home to a predominantly Black population of 30,000 and home to over 50 bars and music clubs alone during the 1950s and ‘60s. Two of The Hall of Fame’s most celebrated inductees helped to shape the music scene and the history of the famed neighborhood: George Morrison Sr., “Denver’s Godfather of Jazz”; and The Hall’s oldest-living legend, Charles Burrell, “the Jackie Robinson of Classical Music.”
“Music was an important part of the history of the Five Points Historic neighborhood,“ states community member and tour guide, Terri Gentry. “Local musicians and business owners invited performers from around the country to showcase their talent. Music provided another format to celebrate the amazing range of talented, innovative, hard-working members of the community. Music was the composition to highlight the neighborhood’s Black community, to push us through Jim Crow Laws by introducing different genres of music to new audiences, and it moved our lives forward.” Gentry continues, “I love to share the history of the Five Points neighborhood, because it allows me to celebrate my ancestors and members of our community: their efforts to make our lives better; their hard work while operating small businesses and employing our neighbors; their resilience, innovation and creativity; and their insight to uplift and provide community resources, their individual accomplishments, and their faith, in spite of enforcement of segregation, redlining, restrictive covenants, and the challenges experienced with the Ku Klux Klan.”