Starting in the 1870s Black settlers came to Colorado where the climate for discrimination was more favorable than they found in the Southern and border states where they were born. At the time of time of the 1880 Boulder census, there were some Black citizens listed living in what became known as the Little Rectangle—a flood prone area of Goss Street between 19th and 23rd streets that included the south side of what is now Canyon Boulevard. Although it was not entirely segregated at any time, the Little Rectangle became increasingly so, when in the 1910s and 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan rose to power in the County.
Historic Boulder has documented many of the African American families and the location of their homes and churches. The first digital historic walking tour in Boulder is being finalized and it’s focused on this Black neighborhood.