PHOTO CREDIT: latimes.com/Blaxicans of L.A.
Every month, Black Girl, Latin World highlights projects and individuals who champion the diaspora through art. This month brings us the dope project Blaxicans of L.A., an instagram dedicated to the expereinces of Blaxicans and Afrolatin@ identified bodies in Los Angeles, California.
I came across this project when my friend messaged me a link to Blaxicans of L.A. on Facebook. I was immediately intrigrued. The name “Blaxican” has been in my mind ever since I fell for Omar Barcenes in the fifth grade but I haven’t seen many media projects dedicated to these identities.
Race/Ethnicity/Culture has long been thought of as Black and White but Blaxicans in L.A. seeks to to tell a new narrative. The relationship between Black and Brown. Blaxicans is collection of photos complete with quotes where the subject shares a piece of their story. From family stories to music, the pieces really show how identity is shaped by our environment, interactions and our core.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez, a researcher with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC, spearheaded the project and worked with amazing artists like photographer Arlene Mejorado to bring this to life. Thompson-Hernandez identitfies as Blaxican and uses the project as a way to shine a light on the spectrem of identities.
My favorite photo from the piece is one of a young girl and underneath it the quote that reads:“I grew up in Los Angeles. My husband is Mexican-American. I am not sure how she will identify when she grows up. It is truly going to be up to her. ” (quote from Blaxicans in L.A.) This photo touched my soul because that narrative of African American women and Latino men is not really shown in the media as much as Black American men with Latino women.
Each photo looks back at you with a intense honesty that makes you want to get to know the subject and learn about their experiences. That’s what’s so revolutionary about photography. Academic papers are great but photos connect to the soul.
Keep up the great work Blaxicans in L.A.! Black Girl, Latin World is totally here for this project.
Check out Blaxicans of Los Angeles on Instagram!