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Mapping prejudice in Jefferson County, Colorado: Unanswered questions

Official, historic real estate documents from Jefferson County, Colorado reveal patterns of systemic racism.

Unanswered questions

Questions that I cannot answer at this time:

  • Most importantly: how do these race-based documents & rules influence Jefferson County today?  What are the legacies of these policies & laws?  What needs to be done to rectify the wrongs committed by our elected officials who acted on behalf of general public?
  • Who came up with the language—surveyors, developers, realtors, local government, federal government?
  • Why do some maps lack the language? 
    • Was this an oversight or deliberative?
  • Where did the African Americans live in Jeffco in 1920? 30? 40? 50?
  • Why did the African American population of Jeffco go down through those years?
    • Did work change & people left?
    • Were they forced out?
    • Was their area redeveloped and thus they had to leave?
    • Was the original population just old & died off?
    • Did they leave by own choice?
    • Did they feel unwelcome & moved to a place more welcoming (5 Points, etc.)?
  • Is there any connection between the developers & racism?
    • Surveyors?
    • Original owners?
  • Are there other plats out there?
  • What about the deeds? 
  • Is there language in the deeds?
  • Is there a redline map(s) for Jeffco?
  • What is the Census data with racial breakdowns for 1920 to the present?
  • Are there advertisements for any of the developments? 
    • Do those contain race-based language?
  • Is there a history of African Americans in Jefferson County written?
  • The KKK was big in the 1920s in Golden & Denver, how did that influence things?
  • Why did things suddenly change in 1950?
  • What is the history of the laws?
  • How were the laws enforced?
    • Are there any notable cases in Jeffco?
  • Why is there no data for most of Golden and Arvada?
    • Is that because they had separate records?
    • Or they weren’t platted but we can find deeds?
  • Did anyone go back & add the language to pre-existing covenants or deeds?
  • How aware were people aware of this practice at the time?
  • Was the language standard across the US?
    • Only in Colorado?
    • Only in Jeffco?
  • Were people doing it out of racism/malice?
    • Or just following the law/rules?
  • Are there incidences of mob justice or mob enforcement for racial segregation in Jeffco?