Dear Historic Boulder Community,
Hundreds of people gathered on Pearl Street over the weekend to protest police brutality and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. Amy Nelson, a BVSD teacher, was one of the event speakers, and she had an important message to share: “I will agree Boulder is not a racist city, but not racist is not enough. I need you to actively be anti-racist.” As stewards and tellers of our local history, Historic Boulder has failed to be sufficiently anti-racist. However, we can do better, we should do better, and we will do better. Inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s strong stance on this issue, we make the following commitments to our community:
“To ensure that our own work reflects the equal value of every single American in our history and in our culture.” We will be mindful of representing black, brown, and Native voices at educational events and tours. We will make a renewed effort to identify and share the stories of under-represented peoples from Boulder’s past.
“To tell the full story of our often-difficult history, by elevating and preserving the enormous and important contributions African Americans have made to our nation [and community], and by carrying that powerful legacy forward through places of truth and reconciliation.” We will highlight important places in Boulder for black history, such as: The Little Rectangle, Boulder’s first black neighborhood; The University of Colorado at Boulder; Chautauqua and its relationship with O.T. Jackson, who later founded the all-black farmers' settlement, Dearfield, CO; The Second Baptist Church of Boulder, Boulder’s first (and only) primarily black congregation.
“To do all we can to create constructive spaces where justice and peace can flourish— including in those places that reflect our history as Americans.” We will not sweep race under the rug as a topic; it should and will be part of the conversation with history.
At Historic Boulder, we know that Black Lives Matter. We hear you. We are here for you and stand with you. With Gratitude, Jamie Boyle Interim Executive Director