‘We find out each other’s struggles, and we have empathy with each other:’ New app explores Black history in Colorado

Dexter Nelson II is proud to present his latest project at History Colorado. As Associate Curator of Black History and Heritage, he has been working for the past year on an engaging new mobile application that offers self-guided tours of the museum’s exhibits and programming.

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“There are two narratives for each region, and the state of Colorado is divided into four regions,” Nelson said.

Developed in partnership with Guru Experience Co., the app was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Nelson created a way for people to navigate the Colorado Black History Trail.

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“Through the app, you can learn more about Barney Ford, Lincoln Hills, like this wonderful exhibit behind me,” said Nelson Mekialaya White of CBS News Colorado.

The nationwide mobile guide includes tours of key sites, artifacts and photographs, and oral histories from History Colorado’s collections. This initiative offers a unique opportunity, both virtually and in person, to trace the history and contributions of black communities across the state of Colorado from the pioneer days through modern times.

“We’re trying to fill that gap by going there ourselves with the cabin owners so you can see a virtual tour of a Lincoln Hills cabin through the History Colorado app.”

Dexter Nelson II, Associate Curator of Black History and Heritage at History Colorado, talks about the new mobile app he has developed to help people learn more about Black history in Colorado.


Nelson says to start a conversation. “Too often the black experience in Colorado is overlooked. We’re not necessarily associated with Colorado as a state. But that’s not really the truth, we were fur trappers, traders, buffalo soldiers. We were here when the West was developed. It goes back to Colorado history. One of our grounding virtues is nurturing those voices.”

And by increasing Black votes, he hopes we can find more common ground.

“Altruistically we find out each other’s struggles, and we have empathy for one another. And we can move forward knowing we’re all in this together,” Nelson said.

To download the app, search for History Colorado in your smartphone’s app store.

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