Women of the Dry photo

Current Exhibition

The Dry: Black Women's Legacy in a Farming Community

The Dry was a predominantly Black farming community in southeast Colorado founded in the early 1900s. Part of the long and often overlooked history of Black accomplishments in the Centennial State, this exhibit explores the legacy of the powerful women who built and sustained this close knit community.

Drawing its origins back to Josephine and Lenora Rucker who, along with George Swink, founded the community and began convincing Black families from across the nation to claim land in Otero County under the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909.

This act allowed citizens to acquire parcels of 160 acres from the public domain, and gave land ownership opportunities to a wider range of US citizens, including women and people of color.

A story of Black agricultural excellence, The Dry: Black Women’s Legacy in a Farming Community explores how, despite challenging conditions, the families of The Dry persevered,  transformed the landscape of southeast Colorado, established a community that existed outside of a racially segregated America, and forged a legacy of freedom, family and resilience.

To know the strength of our roots, to see that strength, that resilience in generation after generation. To know that, it still calls us back.

Jay Alexander