'Freedom denied and delayed': New Mexicans mark Juneteenth with prayer, protest and celebration - Albuquerque Journal

‘Freedom denied and delayed’: New Mexicans mark Juneteenth with prayer, protest and celebration

Cathryn McGill of the New Mexico Black Leadership Council holds a poster and pamphlet that will be on display in barbershops and beauty parlors to raise awareness of the 2020 Census and its importance in the African American community. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Part of Cathryn McGill’s work is to help people understand and be more proficient in a digital world.

As the founder of the New Mexico Black Leadership Council, McGill tirelessly works to get the message to the African American community in New Mexico.

These days, it’s become almost nonstop, as her phone rings constantly.

It’s a good thing because it’s about strengthening the community.

“We’re going to make it through,” McGill says of today’s changing social climate. “People are doing the best they can to keep the community informed.”

McGill is helping lead the way in educating the public about Juneteenth, which is commemorated on Friday, June 19, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the world.

“I think the issues have come to the forefront because the distractions are gone. This has always been an issue,” McGill says. “We’re focusing more on these things because that we had the luxury of ignoring before. This has become an opportunity to see what do we really want to focus on, and how do we move forward together.”

Sean Cardinalli, a local writer, says that in light of the expanding Black Lives Matter movement around the globe, it’s important this year, more than it has been in decades, for Juneteenth celebrations to incorporate an even more communal aspect. African Americans have the world’s attention, and in places all over New Mexico, Juneteenth will be part artistic showcase, part prayer service, part vigil, part barbecue, part protest, and part catharsis.

“There is a particularly keen notion that black New Mexicans, like black Americans everywhere, see Juneteenth not only historically, but through the contemporary lens where our lives are still burdened by de facto and de jure racism; it’s a reminder that African Americans still aren’t completely free. So the significance of Juneteenth’s story of delayed freedom is, understandably, even more palpably felt this year,” he writes.

As Coretta Scott King once said, “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”

Cardinalli says that as black New Mexicans celebrate Juneteenth this year and invite all other New Mexicans to do so as well, there is still work to be done to receive and maintain freedom.

“Coming together as a community in artful and prayerful celebration and even some protest seems a natural course of action for a deeply African American holiday birthed from freedom denied and delayed,” he says.

In this week’s Venue, we highlight voices in the black community. You can also see comments about the importance of fighting for freedom.

Respectfully,
Adrian Gomez
Venue editor


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Interactive, educational 'Jurassic Quest' comes to Expo New Mexico
Entertainment
'Jurassic Quest' features more than 100 ... 'Jurassic Quest' features more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur-themed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a 'Triceratots' soft play area for ...
2
Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' to film in NM; casting call ...
ABQnews Seeker
J. Robert Oppenheimer made an impact ... J. Robert Oppenheimer made an impact on the world during his time in New Mexico. He is credited as being the 'father of the ...
3
Catch a Fraggle on Apple TV+'s reboot of Jim ...
Entertainment
Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober ... Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and new Fraggle friends on hilarious, epic adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care ...
4
Albuquerque-based filmmaker is back at the Sundance Film Festival
Blogs
'Long Line of Ladies' follows a ... 'Long Line of Ladies' follows a girl and her community as they prepare for her Ihuk flower dance, a girl's coming-of-age ceremony celebrating her ...
5
AMC series based on Tony Hillerman novels due sometime ...
Entertainment
A third and a fourth season ... A third and a fourth season will be coming for 'All Creatures Great and Small.'
6
ABQ named No. 1 for moviemakers for fourth year ...
Albuquerque News
Albuquerque is No. 1, again — ... Albuquerque is No. 1, again — for the fourth consecutive year. The city topped MovieMaker's 2022 'Best Places to Live and Work as a ...
7
'Euphoria' is a crackling live wire of a series
Entertainment
Sam Levinson's brilliant adaptation of the ... Sam Levinson's brilliant adaptation of the Israeli TV series of the same name, season two of 'Euphoria' is the polar opposite of a comfort-viewing ...
8
Urban Hotdog Company to be featured on Cooking Channel ...
Entertainment
Matthew Bernabe is no stranger to ... Matthew Bernabe is no stranger to making waves. When he opened Urban Hotdog Company nearly a decade ago, he gained local recognition for his ...
9
Exhibit looks at the landscapes of New Mexico, Colorado ...
Arts
Place can connect us to something ... Place can connect us to something beyond ourselves.For Placitas artist Joan Fenicle, t ...
10
Las Cruces film productions roar into 2022 with over ...
Blogs
In February, Jonathon Sepp will hit ... In February, Jonathon Sepp will hit the five-year mark at Film Las Cruces.In that time ...