“Most of Denver’s academic historians are venal and have taken money from corporate interests. They do shoddy research and bless the establishment altogether,” says renegade historian and self-proclaimed crank Phil Goodstein, who will be leading today’s unofficial bicycle tour of Five Points, a neighborhood he describes as an extreme transition zone. “A lot of the black community is very unhappy with what’s going on down there, with a fear that there is a big white conspiracy to drive all the blacks out of Five Points and turn it into another white yuppie neighborhood,” he says, adding that city government is “in the hip pocket of the real-estate industry” and that when it comes to Five Points, “the mayor and city councilmen have boasted how much whiter the area has become.”
Disrupting the mythology that the neighborhood is the Harlem of the West, Goodstein plans to discuss the Japanese, Latino and white communities that have called the neighborhood home, too, as well as the contentious arguments about how black culture and history are defined. To join in, bring your bike to the Black American West Museum, 3091 California Street, at 11 a.m. The tour costs $10; for more information, call 303-333-1095.
Sun., May 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2014