Colorado Proud: Recognizing Community and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Ann Witt King

Colorado Proud: Recognizing Community and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Ann Witt King

In celebration of Black Women’s History Month, RTD is recognizing contributions by Black women to events and history in Colorado. Through her work, she helped advance education and economic opportunities for Black Americans in Denver. 

King was born to a railroad machinist and catering business owner on January 26, 1913. She attended school in Cheyenne, Wyoming but found her way to Denver, Colorado where she met her husband, Frank King. The couple arrived in Denver in the 1950s.  

Passionate about education, King spent much time volunteering with girls at the Whittier Recreation Center. At the recreation center, King helped create the CANTEEN, a program through which girls could learn and dance. Her talent show, called SHOWAGON, performed at various Denver parks during warmer months. In addition, her show, The Silhouettes in Black History, provided students who attended segregated schools opportunities to learn about famous African American leaders.  

Aware that economic opportunities were limited for Black women, King opened a laundry and ironing service in the 1970s that employed women who had difficulty finding employment. Personal Services, Inc. allowed its employees to set their own work hours and provided them financial stability. 

King passed away on November 2, 2014.  

Learn more about King and her legacy by visiting the Denver Public Library’s website.