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Tierna Unruh-Enos is the managing editor and associate publisher at The Paper.

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In honor of Black History Month and Black New Mexicans, we at The Paper. wanted to amplify Black voices and give space to hear their perspective on being Black in New Mexico.

Stories of New Mexico’s history are always told through the lens of the tri-cultural experience: Native, Spanish and White settlers co-mingling in this land. But that narrow view overlooks the experience and contributions of so many others, most notably Black New Mexicans who, by virtue of their small percentage of population, have a unique experience unlike those of Black Americans anywhere else in our country.

We are turning over our editorial department to guest writers in the Black community. This issue highlights business, politics, food and the arts. It also shines a light on the lack of Black representation in the media since KOAT-TV’s “The Black Experience” premiered in the ’70s. Our writers take a look at injustices the Black community still faces, as recently as last week when a state legislator questioned the “culture” of the governor’s Black nominee for veterans affairs. This issue also celebrates a rich culture and history often overlooked in our state. Our guest film writer delves into the history of Blackdom, a little-known ghost town that was our state’s first Black settlement. Writers from the New Mexico Black Leadership Council feature events for Black History Month and beyond happening around our city.

Black History Month is so much more than just a month. It’s a time for us to reflect on the history and culture of the Black community. It’s a chance for us to listen and learn. It’s a time for us to support and welcome a more diverse voice in our state’s culture.

To the Black community in our state, we at The Paper. have this to say: We hear you, we see you, it’s time to share the mic.

Read all the Being Black in New Mexico stories here.

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