Black Student Association plans Juneteenth celebration for Friday


NMSU Black Student Association to host Junteenth this Friday at 7 p.m.

NMSU Black Student Association and Associated Students of NMSU will host the university’s first Juneteenth celebration this Friday at 7 p.m. on the Corbett Center Outdoor Stage.

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the US on June 19, 1865 — two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the emancipation proclamation of 1863.

Christopher Brooks, president of NMSU BSA, said the event will be an opportunity to celebrate, educate and agitate.

“June the 19th, or Juneteenth, is the time we take to celebrate the emancipation of slaves,” Brooks said. “It’s the time that we celebrate black excellence, the achievements of black people in America, and it’s also a time that we educate those of our history — especially now with the current social climate– and educate people about the importance of voting, the importance of community, the importance of coming together, the importance of not being silenced, but standing up and speaking out against racism and social injustice, and to agitate a system of social injustice and racism to a point where real changes are made.”

The celebration will feature works from African-American artists, testimonies on racism and celebrate African-American achievements. The evening will close with a candlelight vigil to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who have lost their lives due to racism and police brutality.

“We have some great people that are going to share some personal stories of their experience dealing with injustice and racism, but we’re also celebrating some of the amazing written work of African American poetry, different achievements that have taken place throughout history, and  what we’re doing as a community at NMSU.”

Other NMSU and community organizations like the Associated Students of NMSU and Black Greek organizations have partnered with BSA to help with the event.

ASNMSU will be running a booth to help attendees register to vote at the event as well, Brooks said, to help amplify the importance that each vote carries.

“There has been a narrative that has gone through the African-American community, that our vote doesn’t count– that it doesn’t really matter,” Brooks said. “If it doesn’t matter, then why has there been such a fight to keep and prevent people of color from being able to vote?”

Overall, Brooks said, the Juneteenth celebration will be a time to reflect and look forward.

“This is a collaboration with the Black Student Association, ASNMSU and the community to come together, remember where we have been, and determine what’s next, as we look to the future.

Beyond this event, Brooks said he hopes the NMSU community is encouraged to continue to stand against social injustice and racism and create dialogue for change, especially throughout the upcoming academic year.

“The thing we can do as a community is come to an agreement, and have this binding contract as a community, that we’re not going to allow our voice to fizzle out.” Brooks said.

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