They worked together city officials and the police to profit from gambling and other criminal enterprises. Gambling grew. Many miners gambled too. There were madams and prostitution. A justice system in Colorado came by the late 1800’s. Denver had a chief of police in 1874. The law was enforced by the Vigilance Committee. Some took their law in their own hands. Elizabeth Wallace writes of these vigilantes, "A judge presided and the offender was tried by a group of his peers. Once given, the decision was final. Between 1859 and 1860 fourteen men were accused of murder and were brought before a jury of twelve men and at least one judge presiding. Six of the fourteen men were sentenced to death." Many people fought to end crime and corruption. The women’s suffrage movement existed in Denver to fight for women’s suffrage. Some wanted prohibition and others wanted to purify society. There was the social gospel movement that wanted to end suffering and poverty. Protestants, Reform Jewish people, and Catholics in Denver built the social welfare system in the early 20th century. They gave help to the sick and hungry. Thomas Uzzel, leader the Methodist People's Tabernacle, established a free dispensary, an employment bureau, a summer camp, night schools, and English language classes. The Baptist minister Jim Goodheart, city chaplain and director of public welfare in 1918, set up an employment bureau and provided food and lodging for the homeless at the mission he ran. The United Way of America has roots in Denver, where in 1887 church leaders began the Charity Organization Society, which coordinated services and fund raising for 22 agencies. Denver’s climate helped people with respiratory diseases. Hospitals grew. Jewish people created great hospitals that helped people like the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (now National Jewish Health) and the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society. Denver grew and African Americans, German Americans, Italian Americans, Chinese Americans, and a diversity of people lived there. Later, the rightwing backlash of the Klan and the Red Scare would exist in the early 20th century. Yet, the authentic, progressive people of Denver would continue to fight for justice.
The culture of Denver has a long history and a diverse composition. Denver is a Western city. Back during the 19th century, Denver had the Apollo Hall and the Horace Tabor Opera House that gave people enjoyment. Also, today, there are a lot of parks, parkways, and museums which represent the longstanding, beautiful culture of Denver. Denver Pavilions is a popular arts, entertainment, and shopping center on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. The municipal Auditorium was home to the 1908 Democratic National Convention and is now known as the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Denver and the metropolitan areas around it continued to support culture. In 1988, voters in the Denver Metropolitan Area approved the Scientific and Cultural Facilities Tax (commonly known as SCFD), a 1 cent sales tax that contributes money to various cultural and scientific facilities and organizations throughout the Metro area. The tax was renewed by voters in 1994 and 2004 and allows the SCFD to operate until 2018. Denver is known for its locations that promote scientific research. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science currently holds an aquamarine specimen valued at over one million dollars, as well as specimens of the state mineral, rhodochrosite. Every September, the Denver Mart, located at 451 E. 58th Avenue hosts a gem and mineral show. Denver has a rich African American heritage too. The Black American West Museum shows information about the huge role that black Americans played in the settlement of Colorado as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, school teachers, ranchers, blacksmiths, cowboys, lawmen, and more. It shows the history of the West. It shows the pioneer black town of Dearfield. The five Points is the area in Denver where there was great African American commerce existed during the early 20th century. It was called the Harlem of the West since it had clubs where Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bille Holiday, and Duke Ellington including other legends performed in the 1940’s and the 1950’s. The Stiles African American Heritage Center celebrates the contributions made by African Americans. It has artifacts, memorabilia, cultural exhibits, and guided tours. Denver has one of the country's largest populations of Hispanic Americans and hosts four large Mexican American celebrations: Cinco de Mayo (with over 500,000 attendees), in May, El Grito de la Independencia, in September, the annual Lowrider show, and the Dia De Los Muertos art shows/events in North Denver's Highland neighborhood, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood in the original section of West Denver. Denver is also famous for its dedication to New Mexican cuisine and the chile. It's best known for its green and red chile sauce, Colorado burrito, Southwest (Denver) omelette, breakfast burrito, chiles rellenos, and tamales. Denver is also well known for other types of food such as Rocky Mountain oysters, rainbow trout, and the Denver sandwich. Asian celebrations are found in Denver too.
It is also important to respect the contributions of those who came before us too. We learn about the past in order for us to be inspired to make a better present and future. We should never embrace a spirit of fear. We embrace hope, togetherness, love, and altruism. We believe that we are our Brothers' Keepers and we are our Sisters' Keepers. Humor is beautiful too. Humor enriches the mind and the soul. Also, studies document the health and emotional benefits of the expression of humor too. So, life is made up of diversity and the journey to impact the globe positively. Also, we are living human beings. As long as we are alive, we can help society. We can forgive people (not supporting injustice. We have every right to oppose injustice), do almsgiving, repent, and glorify the name of God too. There is no shame in being spiritually grounded and helping others. We are born on this Earth to learn lessons, to love, and to contribute our talents and our gifts to enrich the lives of people. I will not keep an open mind in embracing a demagogue and a bigot. He or Trump is not my President. There have been over 200 hate crimes in America since Trump was elected. The election showed the face of economic oppression and white racism. We have black children being thrown rocks at. We have swastikas being shown in places nationwide. We have white racists harassing people in America now. Therefore, we have to use vigilance. Peaceful protesters who are standing up against injustice legitimately are admirable. Policies from all levels of government can effect your taxes, your health, your resources, your civil liberties, and your livelihood. Therefore, it is very important to not only build economic enterprises in our black communities (which should be done). It also means to stand up for health care, for improving the environment (in places like Flint), and fighting against poverty. The supporters of Trump should feel shame, because they endorse a male (not man) who viciously attacks black people, immigrants, women, and other minorities. We want black people to not experience police brutality. We reject oppression against Latinx human beings. We are in solidarity with the indigenous people fighting against the pipeline in North Dakota. We believe in political independence. We don't worship either of these major parties. I am glad that my Southern state of Virginia refused to vote for Trump in the majority. I am glad for any American in the USA who didn't vote for Trump as well. There is no solution unless the poor and the working class are given resources, so they can experience liberation. The same ones who call black people every name under the sun want us to get on board with Trump. They are definitely mistaken. The silver lining in all of this is that this election ought to wake people up about the post racial myth. We should organize and be active in not only defending our rights, but helping others to make sure that their human rights are protected too.
In this time, I have hope. We will win in the end, and we will continue to engage and to stand up for our freedom.
The struggle, the strength, and the resiliency of black people is real and it’s true. For thousands of years, we have developed civilizations and inspired the world in social movements and in other parameters of human life. Black excellence persists during the past, continues to flourish in the present, and will exist in the future forevermore. The more people study people of black African descent, the more we connect with our souls as human beings. The reason is that when black people are truly liberated, then the rest of the human family are liberated indeed. We live in a crossroads in our history. The world is changing. There is a new President that was elected in 2016. Also, black people are diverse in our nationalities, our political philosophies, our sex, our age, and our other backgrounds. We may not agree all of the time. Yet, we can find common ground in desiring freedom, justice, and equality. We cherish our families, we breathe the same air in the world and we care for our descendants’ future. We honor the diversity of our cultural heritage and we honor the unity that we all share as human beings. Harriet Tubman taught us about perseverance and heroism. Ella Baker taught us about organization and democratic power. Malcolm X taught us about courage in confronting injustice and racism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us about love and compassion. Assata Shakur taught us about independent thinking and liberation. Fannie Lou Hamer taught us about unity, the love of the poor and opposing war. So, we learn from our ancestors, our elders, and the youth in order for us to continue in this audacious journey for freedom. The glory of Africa lives on in us too. We have the influence of the ancestors in our souls and in our minds. Therefore, we will always promote care for the environment, and pan-African unity. We are all in this together and nothing will turn us around. Our cause is just and our hearts are aligned with truth and wisdom. The struggle continues, but we will be victorious in the end.