News Archive

February 2, 2024

February is Black History Month

Boulder County Residents Invited to Attend Local Events

Boulder County, Colo. -- February is Black History Month and the Boulder County Commissioners have sponsored events that are free and open to the community. At the 2024 Freedom Fund Celebration, organized by the NAACP Boulder County, Anthony Ray Hinton will share his powerful experience of having endured and triumphed over nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, led by Attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton was exonerated in 2015. The Freedom Fund event, taking place on February 18 at the Macky Auditorium in Boulder, also includes soulful music from musician Danielle Ponder. Registration is required.

On February 11, a free screening of the multi award-winning documentary True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, which includes Anthony Ray Hinton’s story, will take place at the Lafayette Public Library. The screening will be followed by a community conversation.

Through their 2024 Black History Month Proclamation, the commissioners have also thanked State Representative Junie Joseph for her leadership as a prime sponsor of the Colorado General Assembly’s recent resolution, which designates a portion of U.S. 36 in Boulder as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway.

Resources Available to the Community

The Museum of Boulder’s exhibition Proclaiming Colorado’s Black History is a collaborative effort to amplify Black perspectives and resource Black historians to preserve and share Colorado’s rich and complex Black history.

The Louisville Public Library’s librarians have put together a series of book lists for all ages (For adults, For children, For young adults). These books are available at libraries throughout Boulder County and online through the Marmot Library Network and other online library networks.

Further afield, the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Denver is housed in the former home of Dr. Justina L. Ford, the first licensed African American female physician in the state of Colorado. While famous for telling the story of the Black cowboys, the museum also tells the stories of those early African Americans who came west and performed as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, ranchers, black smiths, school teachers, lawmen, and every other profession needed to build up and develop the West.

Online resources are available from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), including free online events for children: NMAAHC Kids Learning Together: Meet a Diver! (Feb. 9) NMAAHC Kids Learning Together: Meet a Rock Climber! (Feb. 23)

History Colorado's Black History & Heritage online resources include the “African American History in Colorado” Online Exhibit, which follows Black history in Colorado from Lincoln Hills through the Civil Rights Movement.

2024 Black History Month Proclamation

WHEREAS, during National Black History Month, we celebrate the legacy of Black Americans whose power to lead, to overcome, and to expand the meaning and practice of democracy has helped the United States become a more fair and just society while acknowledging that there is still much work to be done; and

WHEREAS, Black Americans’ struggles for freedom, equal treatment, and the right to vote; for equal opportunities in education, housing, and the workplace; for economic opportunity, equal justice, and political representation; and so much more have reformed our democracy far beyond its founding; and

WHEREAS, Black Americans have made a way not only for themselves, but also have helped build a highway for millions of women, immigrants, other historically marginalized communities, and all residents to more fully experience the benefits of our society; and

WHEREAS, Boulder County continues to support the work of the NAACP Boulder County Branch and their 2024 Black History Month Celebration events with guest speaker Anthony Ray Hinton and musician Danielle Ponder, who embody the spirit of perseverance and hope; and

WHEREAS, Boulder County supported the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulder County Community Celebrations 2024 themed, Fanning The Flames Of The Dream, presented by the NAACP Boulder Branch, Second Baptist Church, Longmont Multicultural Action Committee, Boulder JCC, and the Museum of Boulder; and

WHEREAS, Boulder County welcomes the Colorado General Assembly’s unanimous decision to designate a portion of U.S. 36 in Boulder as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway and expresses thanks to Representative Junie Joseph for her leadership in this effort as a prime sponsor of the assembly’s Designate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway Resolution; and

WHEREAS, Boulder County also welcomes the Museum of Boulder’s efforts to work collaboratively to amplify Black perspectives and resource Black historians to preserve and share Colorado’s rich and complex Black history through their year-long exhibition, Proclaiming Colorado’s Black History; and

WHEREAS, Boulder County supports the creation and adoption of fully inclusive, anti-racist, and multicultural policies at a state and local level and believes it is the moral responsibility of the county and its employees to interrupt institutional racism which manifests through racist policy, practices, and behaviors both internal and external to the Boulder County organization.

Now therefore, the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners do hereby proclaim that the month of February 2024 is recognized as Black History Month in Boulder County and urges all residents to actively raise their own awareness of Black History, encourages everyone to recognize the struggles, achievements, and contributions of Black Americans through local Black History Month events, and to engage in action to create a fully-inclusive, anti-racist Boulder County.

ADOPTED this 30th day of January 2024

Commissioner Claire Levy

Commissioner Marta Loachamin

Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann

Collage of all three Boulder County Commissioners