The Colorado Magazine is a publication for all Coloradans. In these pages, we’ll document, explore, and share the experiences that join us together as Coloradans, bringing you compelling original scholarship, insights, and perspectives on how we got to now. We welcome you along on the journey.
The Colorado Magazine gives voice to writers who share our passion for the past. This is the place to find perspectives you won’t find anywhere else. Get the inside scoop on our collections and learn more about the topics you’re reading about in the news and in our other publications.
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History Colorado—the former Colorado Historical Society—has a long tradition of publishing award-winning books. Look here to find titles about unforgettable events, noteworthy people, and the art, culture, and communities of our state. (For a list in PDF format of our available books and other publications, click here.)
On May 30, relatively early in the protests over George Floyd’s murder, the Market House in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was set ablaze. The Market is a classic southern-style building of the antebellum period, made of red brick with a stark white cupola. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and became a National Historic Landmark soon after. Only three percent of more than 90,000 places listed in the country's National Register of Historic Places are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, into law in 1990. This federal law mandated that museums across the country examine their collections, make detailed lists of any human remains and artifacts of Native American origin in their possession, and provide these lists to federally recognized tribal authorities for potential repatriation. Thousands of sacred items and human remains were returned to their tribes of origin this way, after decades or even centuries of potentially exploitative treatment.
This was a turning point in the world of museum operations, and has served to reframe entire exhibits and their interpretation. A new emphasis has been placed on outreach and communication with Native American groups before their cultures are placed on exhibit.
The internet has been buzzing in recent weeks with anti-racist reading lists as Americans seek to contextualize, process, and learn from this historic moment. In a spirit of solidarity with the many great resources that have already been shared, History Colorado staff have some personal recommendations to offer.
As a preservationist working from home in a 1930s Art Deco apartment building, I have often lamented the fact that so much historic door hardware has been painted over, forever dulling the lovely details that add character and art to our everyday lives. I don’t consider myself an artistic person, so my interest in these seemingly basic details relates to my appreciation of what seems like unattainable creativity on my part.
On the evening of July 12, 1967, in Newark, New Jersey, two white police officers badly beat a black cab driver named John William Smith in the course of arresting him for a traffic violation. News of this spread like wildfire through the African American community, and angry crowds gathered outside the police station. Though Smith was injured, but not dead, riots erupted across the city that night. By the time order was restored on July 17, whole blocks lay smoldering and twenty-six people, mostly African Americans, lay dead.