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Black History Month highlight: Celebrating Five Points

DENVER -- Five Points, Denver's historically black neighborhood, continues to evolve.

Nobody will argue with the fact that it looks and sounds a little different than it used to. Even with all the development and expansion, there's a lot of things that remain the same. FOX31 celebrates those constants in this week's Black History Highlight.

“I think this is the heart of Denver,” Dr. Renee Cousins King, a longtime property owner, said.

Like so many of Denver's neighborhoods, development and construction line the streets.

“It’s bittersweet to see the neighborhood change,” Fathima Dickerson with Welton Street Cafe said.

While you find a lot of new stuff in Five Points, you can also find a lot of history. There are a lot of things that remain the same in the neighborhood. Welton Street Cafe is one of them.

“This is probably the only place you can come and get some food, and you don’t have any money,”
Dickerson said.

Welton Street Cafe has been a neighborhood staple since the early 1990s. While they serve food at the restaurant, regulars say they serve more than that, they serve love.

Love is something you can find in more places than one around Five Points.

“The first African American church in the rocky mountain west,” Clementine Pigford said.

Clementine Pigford is walking about Zion Baptist Church.

“Zion certainly adds a historical significance without question,” Pigford said.

The church started in 1865 and moved into its current building in 1913.

Zion Baptist Church and Welton Street Cafe aren't the only establishments to hold out during all the development. The Cousins family hasn't sold their property either.

“I’d say the cousins legacy is longtime ownership of property and community involvement,” Dr. Renee Counsins King said.

Dr. Renee Cousins King continues to hold her family's torch. She owns properties all of Five Points. Her grandparents started the legacy with the family's first purchase after they moved here in the early 1900s. Then Cousins King's parents managed the properties and even bought some more. Now, she keeps everything going.

Cousins King said, “There are important lessons to be learned from the past”

The Cousins Family, the church, and Welton Street Cafe all have their own stories, but they also could be seen as one story. It's the history of the area.