Black in Boulder

A conversation with Terrence Moore

By Paul Hagey Jun 2 2020

Anyone who lives in Boulder knows that it has a scarcity of black residents. Just 1.2 percent of its estimated 105,673 population identify as black, according to 2019 U.S. census estimates. Of course, these stats back up the obvious — Boulder does not have many black residents.

In light of the national race conversation that has sprung up in the wake of the tragedy of George Floyd — a black man’s death at the hands of a white cop — we speak with Terrence Moore about his experience as a black man in Boulder.

Terrence moved to Boulder six and a half years ago from his home city of Amarillo, Texas, to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. At the time, he was deciding between Austin, Texas, and Boulder, but the decision was made when he dropped into the valley and it hit him, as he says, “this is one of the best places ever, I have to live here.”

Now an instructor at Boulder’s mixed martial arts gym Easton Training Center, he says being black in Boulder shares some of the same experience as being black anywhere — there’s an underlying level of “unease” he says, like you always have to defend yourself.

But Boulder creates some unique challenges for its black residents, like where to get your hair cut. Turns out, there’s no easy answer. As opposed to driving out of the city to get what would be a more expensive haircut, Terrence decided to grow his hair out.

In our conversation, Terrence talks about the experience of arriving in Boulder, how he feels living here now and what he feels can make Boulder a place that better supports diversity. Find it below.

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter.