Barney Ford was an escaped slave who became a wealthy entrepreneur in Colorado. As a philanthropist along with being a successful entrepreneur, he was a civil rights pioneer, proponent of education, and supporter of the Underground Railroad. He lobbied for black Americans’ right to vote and successfully argued that Colorado should not be admitted to the Union until universal male suffrage was attained. He led the formation of school programs and buildings to educate freed slaves and their families. Ford was known for his commitment in ensuring African Americans obtained freedom from slavery and maintained their civil rights and freedoms from racism. Ford persevered in his quest for new businesses despite barriers due to racism and showed immense courage by choosing to ignore such intimidation and continue his businesses and philanthropy to help African Americans.

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