COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Pioneers museum of Colorado Springs has been granted approval by the El Paso County Commissioners Office to raise funds for a statue of the first African-American business owner in Colorado Springs.
Fannie Mae Bragg Duncan owned Colorado Springs' Cotton Club nightclub from 1955 until its closing in 1975. The club was one of the first integrated businesses in the city.
Duncan was born in Oklahoma before moving to Colorado Springs and graduating from Palmer High School. After noticing WWII veterans returning home with brides of differing races, and the social unrest that acompanied those unions, Duncan decided to open a nightclub opened to everyone.
She called her club The Cotton Club after Harlem, New York's famed jazz club. Stars like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday were regulars on their stops through Colorado.
The Pioneers Museum is hoping to raise $100,000 dollars for the statue, and plans to erect it outside the Pikes Peak Events Center.