“Across generations and boom-and-bust cycles, the caretaker of a Denver cultural legacy has reached out to make a connection with the past — with the hope that it holds long into the future.
Dr. Renee Cousins King is a retired pediatrician and Five Points property owner whose family’s storied history in that neighborhood — Denver’s traditional center of African-American culture — has remained strong despite the loss of local and family ownership there in recent years.
“I’m a second-generation native and Denver is my home,” said King, 66, who attended medical school at the Mayo Clinic and completed the first two years of her residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore before returning to Colorado. “I only learned the story of Dr. Justina Ford as an adult, after I became a physician.”
Ford was Colorado’s first and only African-American woman doctor in the early 20th century. During her 50-year career she learned multiple languages to communicate with her immigrant patients, often went without payment, and delivered roughly 7,000 babies — all while navigating institutional and cultural racism and sexism.”
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Wenzel, John. The Know 30 January 2019.