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Shannon Robinson talks about becoming involved in student government at then Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado (now Colorado Mesa University), helping to coordinate the campus’s fundraiser in response to Hurricane Katrina, her AIDS activism, and being elected the first minority president of the student body. She discusses racism that she and other African-American students encountered at Mesa State in the early 2000’s and that her...
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David Combs talks about the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police, the ethnic makeup of Minneapolis (where Mr. Combs grew up), and the history of policing and police brutality there. He discusses the worldwide movement for social justice that grew from protests against Floyd’s killing, the response to Floyd’s killing in Grand Junction, Colorado, and the protest movement that took shape here. He addresses differences within the local African-American...
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David Combs talks about growing up in a diverse neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He discusses school segregation, and the difficulties he and other African-Americans faced in securing a good education at the high school level. He speaks about attending the University of South Dakota on a football scholarship, his experience as a Black person in a place with few other African-Americans, and stereotypes about Black athletes that he encountered...
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Antonio Clark talks about growing up in Denver, Colorado, and the important role of youth sports in his upbringing. He speaks about his career in high school sports and about being a walk-on as a football player at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. He discusses racism that he experienced as an African-American on the CMU campus, but also his view that diversity on the campus has increased, and that some attitudes about race have changed. He...
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Local African-American activist David Combs talks about his reaction when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 and 2012. He remembers feeling the audience’s excitement during Obama’s campaign speeches at Cross Orchards and Grand Junction High School. He speaks about Obama’s role in leading the nation’s discussion on race through incidents such as the death of Trayvon Martin. He discusses discrimination towards Obama...
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Shannon Robinson talks about attending grade school in Gunnison, Colorado, where she was largely shunned or bullied by white students as the first African-American student to attend her elementary school. She speaks about living in Aurora, Colorado, where she made friends with other Black children, but also experienced bullying from children of all ethnic backgrounds because of her mixed race. She discusses getting to know other members of her African...
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Janielle Westermire talks about growing up in Grand Junction, Colorado, where her father ministered at the Handy Chapel. She speaks about feeling she lived in a safe, close knit community, but also about racism she experienced as a child. She describes the inspiring life of her father, Harry Butler, who worked in hydrology with the Bureau of Reclamation before becoming the first African-American school board member in Mesa County and the first African-American...