SENATE MEMORIAL 44
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez
REQUESTING THE OFFICE ON AFRICAN AMERICAN AFFAIRS TO RE-CREATE THE "400 YEARS OF FREEDOM, RESTRICTIONS AND SURVIVAL" EXHIBITION IN VARIOUS ART AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS THROUGHOUT NEW MEXICO TO EDUCATE STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS ABOUT THE COMPLICATED HISTORY OF SLAVERY AND FREEDOM IN THE UNITED STATES, THE SOUTHWEST AND NEW MEXICO.
WHEREAS, in 1539, Esteban, a person of African descent, led Spanish explorers through New Mexico and arrived at the Zuni village of Hawikku in western New Mexico near the Arizona border; and
WHEREAS, in 1619, approximately twenty Africans arrived in Virginia to permanently settle in the American colonies; and
WHEREAS, slavery has been a complex subject to teach in schools because of many misunderstandings about how the institution developed as a legal construct; and
WHEREAS, the institution of slavery existed in New Mexico and the Southwest, where many people of color were ensnared in its grasp; and
WHEREAS, many people of color, including people of African, Hispanic and Indian descent, were lynched in the Southwest during the years following the Civil War; and
WHEREAS, in 2019, Sherri Burr, university of New Mexico emeritus professor of law, published Complicated Lives: Free Blacks in Virginia 1619-1865; and
WHEREAS, on August 3, 2019, the exhibition "400 Years of Freedom, Restrictions and Survival" launched the eleventh anniversary celebration of the Sheryl Williams Stapleton African American performing arts center and exhibit hall and New Mexico's commemoration of the arrival of the first Africans to permanently settle in the United States;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the office on African American affairs be requested to re-create the "400 Years of Freedom, Restrictions and Survival" exhibition in various art and cultural institutions throughout New Mexico to educate students and residents about the complicated history of slavery and freedom in the United States, the Southwest and New Mexico; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, the executive director of the office on African American affairs, the secretary of public education, the secretary of higher education and the secretary of cultural affairs.
- 3 -