African American Spirit of the West
The African American Spirit of the West
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
15’ bronze reliefs on porcelain mosaics
The African American Spirit of the West was installed on the front of the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver, Colorado in 2004. On each side of the building two 15′ bronze reliefs over porcelain mosaics of a African American man and woman represent the noble strength, bearing and pioneering spirit of the people of African descent in the West. It is one of two of Jay’s pieces to make its way into the Public Art Archive, a website representing a database of public art installations around the world.
The role of African Americans in the American West is not adequately portrayed in popular culture. Historians estimate that one in four cowboys were of African descent, and they enjoyed greater equality and respect than their brethren elsewhere in the country. Read about the history of the Library’s conception, including several snippets of history about the influence of African Americans of the Five Points / Denver area on their website.