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Let's Talk About Black History Month

Category: Boulder Blog

Post Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Hi Downtown Boulder Readers!

As many of you know, Black History Month, celebrated during the month of February (each year since 1976), is an annual celebration of achievements by the Black community and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. 

An important part of local Black history in our own community is Boulder’s first black mayor, Penfield Tate II who led the city between 1974-1976.  Before arriving in Boulder, Tate attended Kent State University and not only attended on an academic scholarship but also became the school’s first all-American football player! Graduating in 1952 with a degree in pre-law and political science, he went on to serve a 14 year term in the U.S. Army.  He later attended the University of Colorado Law school - receiving his degree in 1968. 

In his private practice, Tate focused his work on government law, employment issues, and acted as an incredible ally in equality - especially for the LGBTQ+ community. Downtown Boulder has so much appreciation for Tate with the passion and heart he brought to the community, not only through the work he accomplished in office but what he did as a role model for the black community to look up to and follow in his footsteps. His legacy continues through his son, Penfield W. Tate III who is an attorney and has served in both the Colorado Senate and House of Representatives as a state legislator.  He's also on the Board of Directors at Community First Foundation.

In late 2020, the city started a proposal process to rename the Municipal Building (1777 Broadway) in honor of Tate and last year, a new mural by Denver artist, detor303, was installed on the Boulder Public Library's North Building to honor his legacy.

To learn more about Tate, check out these resources:

I wanted to take this opportunity to spotlight Black-owned businesses in Boulder County. As communities large and small work to be better allies and create more inclusive places, I found some useful resources, here and here that I hope you find helpful to show your support! 

There is always more that can be done to support the black community as well as other minority groups locally/nationally and this is an excellent time to reflect on how we can all be better allies. In the next day or two, take a step back in your daily routine to think of things you can change that will help bring support and acknowledgement to the black community. 

Understanding the past is one of the most important parts of changing the future. While February is the official Black History Month, let's treat each and every month as a time to celebrate and support minorities within our communities. 

Talk Soon, 


Here is a list of black owned businesses in Boulder County:

1000 Voices Project

Agile International

Ann Cooper

BaoBao Foundation

Big Daddy’s Texas BBQ

Black Sun Cinema

Blackat Video Productions

Bodhi Locks

Brooklyn Barber Academy

Centerpiece Staging and Design

Code Ninjas

Colie James Photography

Doshas Massage and Wellness

Helanius Wilkins


Jocelyn Diles

John’s Auto

Maids and Beyond

Maker General

Maputo Mensah


McCord Consulting Group

Mini Money Management

Raglin Market

Ras Kassas

SaToro Tafura Sculpture

Streetside Dance

Susan’s Samosas

The Alternative Board of Northern Colorado

The Family Learning Center

Writing to Change the Narrative

Shelter Insurance

Nic’s Mobile Music

Boulder Homes


Tagged:   Boulder

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