Photo Gallery: Juneteenth observed in Taos with celebration and action

'We've been hurting for a long time.'

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Friday's (June 19) Juneteenth Block Party brought dozens of Taoseños to Revolt Gallery in Taos. The celebration included live music, poetry, dance, art and emotional tributes to Black lives lost to police violence. All proceeds benefited organizations that support Black Trans Lives.

On June 19, 1865, now known as Juneteenth, Union soldiers brought news to Texas that slavery was over in the United States and the war had ended. While this marks the day that all enslaved Americans were finally told they were free, it came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made official.

Four weeks after the killing of George Floyd, hundreds rallied and celebrated in cities across the United States in an unprecedented national observance. 

"This is not a light day," said multidisciplinary artist Salma Virel following her performance. "This is a moment in history. We are all really glad everybody's showing up. But I'm also sad that it took this much. It took this much for us to be seen, for you all to shout our names from the rooftops. So don't let us have to remind you again. Continue to show up in ways that you can because we've been hurting for a long time."

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