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Full slate of Juneteenth events at NMSU, Downtown, convention center

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New Mexico State University Associate Provost for Student Success Patrick Turner, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker during a Juneteenth banquet that is part of a host of activities celebrating the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth.

Here are some of the upcoming Juneteenth activities in Las Cruces:

  • Juneteenth 2022 Weekend is sponsored by the Doña Ana County NAACP, Doña Ana Arts Council and City of Las Cruces Museums.

It includes the Jazz Cultural Series, June 17-19, at Plaza de Las Cruces, 100 N. Main St., featuring the Derrick Lee Group and other outstanding musicians from throughout the Southwest.

NMSU Associate Provost Patrick Turner will be the keynote speaker at the Juneteenth Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. Banquet tickets are $50 at https://naacpdac.org/asp-products/juneteenth-2022-banquet/.

  • Juneteenth Celebration is sponsored by the NMSU Black Student Association, in collaboration with the Associated Students of NMSU, NMSU Black Programs, the NMSU Men of Color Initiative and the NMSU American Indian Program.

With the theme of “Remembering a legacy to continue the journey,” the celebration will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, June 17, at the Corbett Center outdoor stage on the NMSU campus.

The event will include spoken-word, music and dance performances and guest speakers.

Attend in person or via Zoom at https://nmsu.zoom.us/j/96176715712, ID 961 7671 5712, passcode NMSUBSA.

For more information, contact Turner at 678-576-2342 or Kiera King at 505-803-0051.

Juneteenth history

Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1865.

The Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln signed Jan. 1, 1863, declared “all persons held as slaves within any (rebellious state), shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Word didn’t reach Texas, the western-most state in the Confederacy, until June 19, 1865, when about 2,000 Union troops arrived at Galveston Bay.

U.S. Army Major Gen. Gordon Granger (1821-76) read General Order No. 3, which carried news of the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas.

Juneteenth, which became a federal holiday in 2021, commemorates the announcement of the order and Granger’s enforcement of it.

“Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day,” the National Museum of African American History and Culture said on its website.