In the early 1960s, Denver, Colorado barbershop owner, Paul Stewart, began collecting memorabilia of the Old West, especially collections that illustrated and documented the Black presence west of the Mississippi River. In 1971, he officially established the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center. Billed as "the only Western-black-history museum in the world,” the museum highlights the history of African American's movement west and includes artifacts and pictorial histories of cowboys, farmers, ranchers, miners, Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen and the residents of the Five Points area of Denver. Sadly, Paul Stewart, a pioneer in the Black museum movement, passed away on November 12, 2015.
Stewart welcomed AAAM to Denver for its national conference in the 1990s. An authority on the history of African Americans in the West, specifically Black cowboys, Stewart was sought after by scholars, documentarians, and schools as he interpreted the history of Black cowboys. AAAM extends its prayers and meditations to the family of Paul Stewart and the Black American West Museum.