Edna • Singer

I met Edna during Gwen’s conversation salon, which is a gathering of people from various backgrounds all coming together to talk and learn. Edna, a devout Christian, is a singer and believer in the power of love and longs for a world that is aware of our differences, but does not discriminate based on them.

Over 38 years ago, when Edna moved to Denver from Memphis, Tennessee, the first thing she noticed was the cleanliness, spaciousness, and of course, the mountains. To Edna, Denver represents a melting pot of people where you aren’t judged for who you are. That is why she chooses to look deeper when she meets someone new because she believes that’s what truly matters.

She shared her experience with me extensively, including how being Black in Colorado allows her to see life in color rather than in black and white. She still holds onto her Christian values, but today her community is larger with friends from all backgrounds. When I asked Edna to describe Denver in one word she replied, “diverse.” Here’s what it means to be Edna in Denver.

Who are you?

I am a beautiful spirit with a sweet soul. I like who I am, my mind, my emotions. I am an emotional person. I love deeply and love being loved. I love for real, and when I say “I love you” I mean it, through thick and thin. That is who I am at the core.

What does it mean to be you?

It means to be free, honest, vulnerable, giving, compassionate, accepting.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

Being Black in Denver has been an eye-opening experience for me. After moving here, my first concern was finding a church home. It took only two weeks for me to know where I wanted to unite in Christian fellowship. It was a predominantly Black church with really good gospel music and stirring sermons, just what I needed. I was well-received and made friendships that will last forever. It also means freedom and an opportunity to do and see things from a different perspective. My perspectives were narrow when I moved here over 38 years ago.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

There’s space to grow here. Over the last 38 years, Denver has grown and with each challenge/opportunity that I have been given, I have grown too. Denver has made my life bigger and richer. Living in Denver has opened doors and afforded experiences and opportunities that I, most likely, would not have experienced in the South. I like the fact that it’s not a megacity but it offers some of the things that megacities offer. I enjoy looking at the mountains and seeing God’s hand in carving them out for our enjoyment.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

I am more of who I was meant to be all along. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t moved here from Memphis. I’ve matured in so many ways. My mind is bigger, greater, more open. I’ve blossomed. I’ve always been happy, but I am happier here.