In February and March of 2021, the Las Cruces community will come together to explore When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka for Big Read Las Cruces. This award-winning title shares the experiences of a Japanese American family incarcerated by the United States government following the attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated the United States’entry into World War II.
The Big Read Las Cruces will launch on February 19, 2021, on the Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of the day when U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized removal and forced incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent from Washington, Oregon and California.
The Big Read Las Cruces will begin with an interview with Las Cruces Mayor, Ken Miyagishima, as well as an information session by the New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League and a film screening. Events will be held through February and March so check the Library website, library.las-cruces.org often for program information, historical lectures, movie screenings, author talks, book discussions and more.
The NEA Big Read annually provides support to select nonprofit organizations to host dynamic community-wide reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection. Thomas Branigan Memorial Library is one of several public libraries to receive an NEA Big Read Grant this year.