56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


Pamelya Herndon









     WHEREAS, African-American day is a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans to the history of both New Mexico and the United States; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico recognizes the importance of honoring African Americans, having enacted Section 12-5-12 NMSA 1978, which states, "The second Friday of February of each year shall be set apart and be known as "African-American day"; and

     WHEREAS, African-American day is a celebration of the many sacrifices that African Americans have made toward the democracy everyone enjoys today; and

     WHEREAS, African-American day shall be observed by the people of New Mexico in recognition of those efforts; and

     WHEREAS, African-American day is celebrated in tandem with Black history month; and

     WHEREAS, the celebration of African-American day is also a time for people to reflect upon the need to diversify thinking and strategic planning to ensure that all voices are heard in decisions that affect New Mexico and New Mexicans; and

     WHEREAS, African-American day provides an opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history; and

     WHEREAS, Black history month should not be treated as though it is separate from the collective American history or as though Black history month is merely a compilation of greatest hits, ranging from the March on Washington to some of the most memorable court cases inspired by African Americans' experiences, but rather as a day that is focused on the shared experiences of all African Americans commingled into a recipe that everyone can appreciate; and

     WHEREAS, the African American community in New Mexico has a compelling legacy that dates back to 1539, when Esteban, a Spanish Moor from North Africa, traveled to New Mexico seeking gold; and

     WHEREAS, after the civil war, from three thousand three hundred to three thousand eight hundred African American soldiers, proudly known as the buffalo soldiers, a term given to the troops by Native Americans, were garrisoned at eleven different forts throughout the territory of New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, today, New Mexico has a vibrant African American community with a population of approximately forty-four thousand people of African descent, according to the United States census bureau; and

     WHEREAS, African Americans continue to face police violence, systemic racism and disproportionate health outcomes; and

     WHEREAS, efforts to advance racial equality and civil engagement continue to be urgent priorities; and

     WHEREAS, the great contributions that African Americans have made to both the history of New Mexico and the history of the United States should be celebrated and acknowledged while also recognizing that the fight for racial justice and equality continues everyday;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that February 10, 2023 be designated "African-American Day" in the house of representatives; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, the executive director of the New Mexico office on African American affairs, the board chair of the African American museum and cultural center of New Mexico and the president of the national association for the advancement of colored people-New Mexico.