Historymaker: Fannie Mae Bragg-Duncan

Fannie Mae Bragg-Duncan is the founder of the famed Cotton Club in Colorado Springs. 9NEWS.com. 2/1/2016.

KUSA - Nowadays, nightclubs are seen as entertainment. But decades ago, one nightclub helped to foster integration in Colorado Springs.

When Fannie Mae Duncan came to Colorado in 1933, she began a legacy that would make her one of the most successful businesswomen in the state and a champion for integration. Duncan owned the famed Cotton Club in Colorado Springs.

In the front window of her club was a sign that said "Everybody Welcome." That meant people of all races. She refused to discriminate against white or black customers even threatened by city officials. 

Duncan's club wasn't her only means of ensuring equality. She was a figure in the fight for civil rights. She also funded college scholarships. A shrewd business woman, she owned a 42-room mansion where she hosted African-American celebrities and dignitaries who weren't welcomed at other hotels during their visits to Colorado Springs.

For all of her work, Duncan was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

(© 2016 KUSA)



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