56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024


Pamelya Herndon and Janelle Anyanonu









     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 day to reflect on 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 for diversity in thinking and strategic planning as laws and policies are developed 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 often-forgotten accomplishments of Black Americans to every important outcome that makes up the history of the state and the country; 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 badges and incidents of slavery to some of the most important supreme court cases that have created precedents inspired by African American experiences, but rather as a day that is focused on the shared experiences of African Americans blended into a recipe that creates a unique flavor of diversity with a multicultural experience 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, thousands of African American soldiers, also known as the buffalo soldiers, 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 growing population that is still not fully embraced, as evidenced by disproportionate health outcomes, housing disparities and high unemployment; 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 9, 2024 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 office on African American affairs, the president of the university of New Mexico, the president of the New Mexico black caucus and the president of the New Mexico state conference of the national association for the advancement of colored people.