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Opalanga D. Pugh

Opalanga D. Pugh, a lifelong supporter of the Colorado Black Arts Festival, was born in Denver, Colorado, on October 31, 1952. Opalanga was a professional griot in the African oral tradition and traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean.  Many of her stories come from her travels in Africa. Others are classic tales of the African-American experience.  Opalanga particularly enjoys sharing stories from her history in the mile-high city, especially from historic Five Points, the cultural capital of Black Denver. She attended East High School and received her B.S. degree in communication studies from the University of Wisconsin. NBC selected Opalanga as one of 10 African-American Living Legends in 1992. Opalanga has received twice the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. She passed away on June 5, 2010.