Transcript- "Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico"

Transcript - "Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico"

October 6, 2022 -- Radical Kinship Series

Listen to "Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico" with Ebony Bailey.

LETI VOLPP: Good afternoon and welcome to Today's Center for Race and Gender event: The Radical Kinship Series: Screening of Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the heart of Mexico with Q. A. with director, Ebony Bailey. 

Before we begin, let me say that there's live captioning available. If you locate the button on the bottom right hand corner of your screen, and I will begin with the land acknowledgment. We take a moment to recognize that Berkeley sits on the territory of xučyun (Huichin (Hoo-Choon), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo (Cho-chen-yo) speaking Ohlone people the successors of the historic and sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. 

This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Muwekma (Muh-wek-muh) Ohlone Tribe and other familial descendants of the Verona band. We recognize that every member of the Berkeley community has, and continues to benefit, from the use and occupation of this land since the institution's founding in 1868. Consistent with our values of community and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make visible the University's relationship to native peoples. By offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold the University of California, Berkeley, more accountable to the needs of American Indian and indigenous peoples. 

My name is Leti Volpp, and I'm the director of the Center for Race and Gender here at UC Berkeley. We are thrilled you can be with us for today's event, which is our second event this year in our Radical Kinship Series.

I want to thank our sister sponsors for today's event, the Multicultural Community Center, Gender Equity Resource Center, GenEq, UC Berkeley's People and Culture Office of Diversity, equity, inclusion, and Belonging, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities. Thank you so much for your support of this work. 

Let me also alert you to our next event, which we also hope you attend. This is the same time on Thursday, October 20th is called Archipelagos and Spectors: Refugee Settlers and Climate Refugees, and it will be a conversation with Neel Ahuja, author of Planetary Specters: Race, Migration and Climate Change in the Twenty-First Century, and Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, author of Archipelago of Resettlement, Vietnamese Refugee Settlers and Decolonization across Guam and Israel Palestine. 

Okay, I'm going to now introduce the fabulous organizer of the Radical Kinship Series and the curator of today's events. This is Alan Pelaez Lopez. Alan is an Afro Zapotec artist and scholar from Oaxaca Mexico. They are the author of "Intergalactic Travels: Poems from The Fugitive Alien", published by the Operating System in 2020, which was a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award, as well as "To Love and Mourn In The Age of Displacement," which was published by Nomadic Press in 2020. Most recently Alan was named a recipient of the 2022 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargeant Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, which is among the largest and most prestigious awards available for young poets in the United States, and which recognizes outstanding young poets providing support earlier in their careers to encourage the further study and writing of poetry in the form of their choosing. Alan is also an Assistant Professor of Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. Thank you, and I will now turn it over to Alan.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ:  Thank you so much for that beautiful introduction, Leti. Welcome everybody to the Center for Race and Gender. I'm really excited to be moderating today's event which is a screening of Jamaica Y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico with Ebony Bailey, who is an artist that I deeply admire.

 I'm going to give you an introduction to Ebony Bailey, and then, following that, we're going to screen the film. It's about 20 minutes. After the screening, Bailey and I will have a dialogue about the process of filmmaking, blackness in Mexico, and the role of food in conduction to Afro-diasporic memory.

So Ebony Bailey is a filmmaker and video producer from Central California, whose work explores the cultural intersections, diaspora, and social movements. Her documentaries include La Nopalera Despues, a 2017 documentary about a woman's experience in the 2017 Mexico earthquake. In the same year, Ebony also finished a documentary, Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico, that highlights the legal, social, and cultural experiences of Haitian migrants at the Tijuana/San Ysidro border, a film that I often use in race, class, and migration courses.

Today we'll be watching Jamaica Y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the heart of Mexico, which won the Audience Award for best documentary short at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, and the Audience Award for identities at the South Social Film Festival. Ebony Bailey's latest Project, Abuelita’s Kitchen: Mexican Food Stories, explores the kitchen as an incubator that preserves the oral histories of Mexican families in Los Angeles. Outside of these four projects. Ebony Bailey has edited multimedia projects that range from recording and transgender assistance in Peru, political organizing in Chile, and youth Activism in Senegal. So welcome Ebony to the Center for Race and Gender. We're so excited to have you here today. So now we're going to screen your film, and then we will convene back together and have a little conversation.

[Audio recording stops as video streaming of Jamaica y Tamarindo occurs.]

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ:  Hello! Hello, Ebony! I am so happy to be sharing this space with you. Welcome back everybody! Who's in the Zoom watching this.

First of all, Ebony, I want to respond a little bit to your film. I was so emotional. I forgot that Leona was in this, and when I heard her music and her poetry. I wanted to cry. Seeing el baile del diablo was so emotional. I come from Jose Maria Morelos, which is a maroon village in la Costa Chica de Oaxaca, when you enter my village there is a huge sign that says bienvenidos a Jose Maria Morelos es orgullosamente afrodescendiente in Our Town Square, which is literally just a basketball field. In the basketball field, we have murals of African dancers, and also Youth dressed up, in el baile del diablo attire, and I think I saw one person from my village in your film, and I'm just like, How did you, first of all? How did you even connect with her? And you know I watched a Q.A. With you. That you did, I believe, last year with el Centro de Estudios de Asia y Africa al Colegio de Mexico. And you spoke about the ways in which racism kills knowledge.

And I wanted to begin today's conversation kind of quoting that interview, and bringing back into this space, because your film a lot of it is through how cultural work, music, cooking and storytelling, and poetry are kind of excavating A black history in Mexico which is usually not How historians approach the archive of Afro Mexico. most of the time, The historical approach to narrate after Mexico is by reading Spaniard, Dutch, and Italian archives, and they're all primarily written through a European and conquistador lens, and what you offer to us is a new reading of blackness through poetry, through music, through cooking, and through the drum that then invites other instruments. So it feels like you're doing this anti and decolonial work.

And you're not, I think, that your film, it particularly excels in not fetishizing necessarily a return back to Continental Africa, and it allows for us to really see the complexity. It allows for us to see the ways in which um black folk in Mexico City negotiate um racialization, negotiate how they are gendered, and also negotiate How they identify or disidentify with mestizaje which is Mexico's racial foundation. So thank you. I now want to invite you to the space and ask you to share some words about your experience filming Jamaica Y Tamarindo, where it's traveled. Because there's something that Jamaica Y Tamarindo does that a lot of Afro-Mexicans can't do, and that is travel outside of Mexico because of classism right, Afro-Mexicans seem to be stuck in very particular parts of the country, but your film has a mobility that might be able to build a solidarity across the African diaspora. So I wanted you to get some remarks, and then we'll get into a Q. A.

EBONY BAILEY: Hello hola! Hello, everybody! Thank you. Sorry. Thank you so much for inviting me. It's been a while since I've talked about Jamaica. I feel like a few months. So it's been It's like exciting to be here. And it was also kind of emotional for me to watch because I did, I made Jamaica Y Tamarindo as my thesis project when I studied at UNAM in Mexico City. And I just moved from Mexico City this year to Tijuana San Diego area. So it's like very nostalgic when I look at it, it reminds me of that time when I lived there, and gotten to just know a lot of people there.

So the process was like, really long. It was actually yeah, it was like my whole, pretty much my whole like masters program. And then, like the year after finishing, it was like research. The first two years were basically like research in the sense of like reading those archives, reading other archives by Afro-Mexicano scholars. And then also just meeting people a lot of people in Ciudad Mexico.

I feel like that Mexico's interesting because It's like el centro del pais no so there's like a lot of power there like represents a lot of power, and then also like it represents this almost like mobility opportunity where a lot of people migrate there. So it's this place where you get to meet a lot of people from different parts of Mexico, and also even parts of the world. But I feel like as someone who grew up in the States born and raised in California like I didn't really meet many other black people from other countries until I moved to Mexico, and there's AfroMexicanos, and Afro Colombianos, Africanos, and there's a lot of people that are there, but at the same time blackness isn't visibleized, which I think is just like an interesting dynamic, and it says a lot about like the historic state discourse that Mexico has about race and mestizaje, and anti-blackness and stuff like that.

But in that process, I was meeting a lot of people, and I, and actually, I think, what you had pointed out, which I'm like happy that you pointed that out about the way that Jamaica Y Tamarindo kind of excavates history from music and poetry and people's stories. That was like just a deliberate choice for me to not include like any experts in the documentary. If you watch documents, there's always like, you know, the people, the subjects, as they call them, which I don't like to call them. And then there's like that expert who like talks about the theme of whatever the documentary's about, and that was like a deliberate choice for me to not include that, because for me the people who are actually living the experience of Afro-Mexicanidad in Mexico are the experts of their own stories, and a lot of this kind of like historic, I guess facts that pop up in Jamaica Y Tamarindo, like about the zapateado and stuff like that were stories that I just heard from Zuri, from Chai, from people who grew up in the Pueblos.

 And so for me, it was very important to like Center, that type of history and oral history, and a lot of the people that I that are featured in Jamaica, or my friends like Leona's like one of my best friends. And she's the one with the braids, and she's from Ciudad Mexico, and her parents were also from Ciudad Mexico. Her grandparents were from different places like her grandma was indigenous from Michoacan, and her grandpa was from Oaxaca. and it's a little like unknown, the rest of her family history. But that's kind of where her like Afro Mexicanidad comes from. And that was another point where I wanted to show or represent in the film like the diversity of, negritudes that are in Ciudad Mexico.

The film was very like Mexico City, heavy because that's where I lived at the time. That was where I studied my master's degree, and then it was also part of this, like small grant that I got through the city of Mexico City, like the cultural center of Mexico City to produce, like a smaller version of Jamaica. And then, after I produced that, I just expanded it to what it is today. Like I expanded it to go to Costa Chica because that was a theme for a lot of people to like just memories of home nostalgia home, even if There are some folks that grew up in Costa Chica and other folks that grew up in Mexico City, but their parents were from Costa Chica. And then there's one person whose dad was from Senegal, from the Continent.

So I made sure that I wanted to represent, like all different types of like antecedentes negros, so like different ideas that blacknesses come into Mexico City, and also, like the different, the diversity of interests so like Chai and Zuri, they're the musicians, Seyna is the cook, and then like, and just thinking about like, How can we represent like this connection without fetishizing, without romanticizing, and also just through the interest of the people that are in the film. So this is like It's like my favorite project to this day that I've worked on. That was a special project for me and Well, that's what I have for now. I can open up, open it up for questions. Sorry if you can hear the construction there's a lot of noise in the background.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: thank you for sharing that to give the audience some context. Ebony. So you are Mexican, American, Black American. And I wanted to ask you about ethics. What was the kind of work that you had to do as somebody who grew up in the US, Who does have whose heritage country is the US And Mexico? How did you negotiate not bringing in a black American lens into the documentary, or what were the kind of ethical decisions you had to make to honor the stories of the Afro-Mexicans, the Afro-Mexican community that you were working with while making the film?

Ebony Bailey: Yeah, that's a good question. It's something that I thought about a lot, I think, even through studying the program, because that was a big theme of ethics and going to community, and then just leaving and things like that. So I feel like kind of some of the ways that I manage was well.

It was weird because a lot of the people that are in the film kind of it happened like very organically. It wasn't like I was chasing someone down, and I was like Oh your story Needs to be in this film. It was like we developed a friendship first, and then as I was developing the film, and seeing it, it started off as like a really big idea. And then it narrowed down to Flores de Jamaica that was actually from just me, and Leona having a conversation about food because we both love food, and she had told me like, sabias que flores de Jamaica este Africa del continent? like, Did you know that Flores de Jamaica was from the continent of Africa? And I said, No, I didn't know that. And so from there like digged into the rabbit hole of the food and the food ways and all that stuff.

But I feel like going back to what you were saying about ethics is that part of the film, The part that was shown in Costa Chica was also like in collaboration with Chai and Zuri because they were looking to make a music video. because they're musicians, and they really wanted to do something to honor their hometown. and so when we did that, I said, could I also, could we share some of this footage, could I use some of it for Jamaica Y Tamarindo? And actually, if I can send the link of the video if y'all want to watch the video. So it's also a really like nostalgic video, at least for me for Anyone who has who's from, Who's had like a deep relationship, I guess, with Costa Chica. And so when I went there I went with them, and I think like if I had gone there alone, it would have been. I don't think I would have done that. I don't think I would have arrived too close to Costa Chica alone with a camera, with no contact, not knowing anybody. The first time I ever went to Costa Chica was with Leona and with some other- We saved some folks who were there. And I didn't bring a camera. It was like an intentional choice for me that first time to not bring a camera and just like not really knowing much about the context, like at the time, and knowing that, like a lot of people there don't like to be filmed and like-

I actually have a story that's in the thesis, The written thesis that accompanies Jamaica Y Tamarindo, and it's about, I probably should have started with this, but it's about a When I went to a mercado, I think the second time I went to Costa Chica, which I also didn't go with- I went with like a camera just to take pictures, but not to like film anything. But I was thinking about it. I was thinking about like, Oh, maybe I can. Maybe I can try to do a documentary here. You just thinking that it's very early stages, and I talked to a Senora at the mercado, and she's like, Oh, what are you guys doing here? And I was like Oh, you know I'm just getting to know the space, I'm gonna do like a documentary here one day, and she's like otro documental, and like at that moment I like, really check myself like, Wow, Okay. So what am I doing here? That's like different from all the other, like Americans? And then, like white mestizos that come here and do documentaries? So from from that time on I was pretty like intentional about what I would do in la Costa Chica, and At first I wasn't- I didn't even include Costa Chica in the project. But after like talking to people and like hearing their stories, it kind of makes sense to include the footage, because it was a good like call back to their memories.

And so that's when I asked Chai and Zuri if we can. If I can use some of that footage that we did for the music video in Jamaica Y Tamarindo? So I think about that stuff a lot, and I don't know if that really answers your question. But it's something that's very deeply like in my mind, in documentary work in general is like, How can we use documentary as like a source or like a bridge for solidarity and not extraction? Because I think that documentary inherently is like an extractive process, and so trying to kind of make it more of a horizontal thing is like, I think, has. There's like a lot of unlearning that needs to happen there.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: No, thank you for that. And I mean a lot of people don't know this, but Mexico City actually is a geography where there was a series of sugar cane plantations, where kidnapped Africans and indigenous peoples were chastised to live in and I was wondering if Well, I'm thinking about Coyoacan, for example, which has now become like this huge tourism attraction, and it's painted colorful. But when one visits Coyoacan, the historical, like the history of slavery, is never spoken about in Coyoacan. But one can still kind of like chart out the geography, one can still kind of see the infrastructure of the plantation. I'm wondering if you made the ethic, if not filming in Coyoacan was part of like a political decision on your part. yeah. So what was the role of a location when you did film in Mexico City? And why not a former plantation?

EBONY BAILEY: the role of location. That's a really good question. I feel like part of it was so. The title before I even started putting Jamaica together was Jamaica Y Tamarindo: Traditiones Afro en el Corazon de Mexico. And so for me it was like it was like It's almost like the visual version of a play on words that if makes sense, but like shooting in El Centro de Mexico where everybody goes was like a very conscious decision of mine.

But also, as I was talking to folks I should. I showed the locations after I talked, after I interviewed the folks, because I wanted to see what would make sense to film after speaking with them. And that line, or scene is talking about esta ciudad fue, The city was destroyed. And it was, and it was rebuilt. I don't remember exactly what she says. And this wasn't Spanish hands that rebuilt the city. It was black hands. It was indigenous hands. It was enslaved people that built the city. And so for me when I was thinking about like older buildings that are in Mexico City. I wanted to make sure to like have when People looked at those buildings, and just see, like the tourist side of it, or like the history like that the State gives you. They also see that there's like a really deep, dark history of slavery that's in Mexico, and I feel like a lot of people, not also in Mexico, but especially in Mexico, actually and in the US. They don't realize that Mexico and the rest of this continent was also participating in the transatlantic slave trade. So for me to kind of, add that in not as like in your face, but as something that it's almost kind of in your face and things that if you probably go to visit Mexico City you'll see. I want to make sure You also see that part. And I was actually a tour guide in Coyoacan as I was finishing, this thesis and editing this piece. And so it was interesting to just to be a tour guide, and to make that conscious decision of telling people about the history of enslavement as I'm like showing them this old church and stuff like that, and the history of mestizaje. And also editing the film at the same time, like it was all like an interesting kind of connection that was going on there.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: Well, that is a wild connection. So you were shooting the documentary, working with like intimate families in Mexico City, and then you were giving foreigners tours of Coyoacan, a former plantation. And then you were just living as black and as like as somebody who socialized as a woman in Mexico City. What was the emotional and spiritual experience of doing these three things at the same time?

EBONY BAILEY: Yeah, it was. I think it was, well So I did the tours as I was editing Jamaica so I had already filmed everything like a year, two semesters, so a year before, And and also it was. It was like an interesting experience, because when I was doing the tour guide stuff, it was, It was also the same time as like Black people finally got recognized in the constitution of Mexico. And then it was the first time that the Encuentros de Pueblos Negros, which is like the annual like national black meeting. I guess that's how you'd translate it, That happened in Mexico City, and specifically Coyoacan.

And so there were. There was a time where I was giving tours when all of that was happening, and a lot of people that are in Encuentro de Pueblos Negros are people that I know. So like just saying hi to folks like saying hi to Twitter friends. I had met Jorge Melo, who's like a Twitter friend I was actually giving a tour, and he was walking through Coyoacan, and we saw each other and we were like what! And saying hi. So part of it was like a really kind of positive thing in a sense because part of me was also like proud of the way that I shared history with people through the tour guides. But then there's the whole like aspect of just the Tours themselves are like people coming in and like thinking, like just wanting to know. I don't know. I feel like Mexico City has this weird like charm, almost about like bigger city like I don't know a lot of foreigners are like, attracted to Mexico City. It's like a lot of gentrification and stuff and displacement is going on right now with foreigners coming in, especially from Europe and the US. And that doesn't exclude people of color from Europe and the US. so like even me living there, I would have like this internal conflict a lot about that. but so I feel like there was like that side of it of like being proud.

But knowing that I'm like involved in the community like knowing a lot of the people that were putting on the Encuentro de Pueblos Negros, and then also just being a black woman walking around in Mexico, and being not identified as American The majority of the time that I was in Mexico City. I think it's interesting also, being in Tijuana, now and I get Haitian a lot in Tijuana. I would also get Haitian a lot in Mexico City, and like, or Colombia and or Cubana, and just knowing. And there are instances where I was like Stop migration, like in Central Mexico, and knowing that at the end of the day, like my US passport saves me from most of those situations, and so like dealing with that privilege of having the US. Passport, but then also being racialized as a black woman, and being stopped in the first place. And as to being taken somewhere where I don't even know where they're going to take me. So there's all these like different layers, and I think, like as in the black American, it's important to recognize like at least I'm able with this passport that I can move around and go places and get out of situations that even if it's like, a long time to get out of the situation, a lot of convincing, and like persuading to whoever's stopping me. I know that eventually, I'll get out, so I guess that's a very long-winded answer. But there's like a lot of different layers and connections that that were going on.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: No, thank you for that. Now I'm gonna open up this space to see If anybody in the audience has specific questions they want to ask Ebony, about the film that we watched today. you can type in your question on the Q and A button at the bottom of your screen, or you can use the chat. So we have one question from Tanya Osorio Harp. Hi, I'm curious. If you have had the chance to share the film with Mexican audiences and what the reactions have been?

EBONY BAILEY:  Yeah, that's a great question. That was actually kind of in one of the first questions that I hadn't answered. But, So I think the first place that Jamaica ever screened was Ciudad Mexico. I wanted to make sure that a film that's mostly about Ciudad Mexico was screened first in Ciudad Mexico, And that was like mostly. It was like an anthropology space. So it was a lot of anthropology. Students or just people, professors, but like really into the themes. And then also, like kind of learning about racism. There was. There was a lot of really positive dialogue in that first screening, and from there it's screened a lot in kind of these, like public spaces, especially in Mexico City, or like university settings in Mexico City. we did some paros which, like community kind of public hubs that are in like different spots of Mexico City.

But then, so Jamaica was done like at the very end of 2019, and then 2020 happened. So a lot of Jamaica's screenings have actually been virtual, but it's been with a lot of like secretrias de cultura, like, in Puebla, and Oaxaca's screened a few times like virtually, I've never done, an in-person screening in Costa Chica and I would love to someday. Let's make that happen. But, I've done virtual screenings in Costa Chica, and but I've never done an in-person screening, there was one time we were going to. I think it was like early 2021, and then there was Mexico had this like Rojo semaforo, naranja, or like red light, yellow light, orange light, in terms of like Covid stages. And right before we were gonna go, it like changed back to red light, which means that nobody is able to do any like in-person activities so it got cancelled.

But I feel like in the virtual spaces, and in like the few public spaces that it was screening in the beginning, there were like a there was like a lot of positive a lot of positive reactions. There is some paros where I like to going to the paros, because I feel like in other spaces. It's like people who are interested in the theme. and in paros it's just the people who live in the neighborhood, and so sometimes it's like.

I remember one time it was like one person's first time like even learning about Afro Mexicanos, or somebody. Sometimes people will see kind of like out of pocket things. But, it's very rare, and I usually will kind of counter that with a question, and so it'll have. It'll have people thinking about what they're saying. but there's another. There's another instance where this actually wasn't in Mexico, it was in Fresno, which is near my hometown, and it was a woman from Guerrero, and she came up to me after the screening, and she said, I have a best friend who's also from Guerrero, and she's super dark skin, and everybody would ask if she's from Africa, and I would say No, she's Mexican. She's not from Africa. And now, after watching your film, like I can tell people she's Afro-Mexican, and so like that for me it's like just like Oh! So I really like those types of moments where people are actually getting something out of the film. And there's been a few times where it was, especially in the beginning in person, where I would invite, like the people who are in the film to come and also speak, but it's kind of unfortunate that a lot Jamaica's I guess tour time on this earth has been during Covid.

So a lot of it has been virtual, but it has gone to different countries as well, especially in Latin America, like Colombia, Peru. and I love hearing from like Afro-Peruanos and Afro-Colombianos, like similar experiences that they've had or- I remember this afro Peruanas, Black Peruvian mother and daughter, they came up and were like, we play the same instruments we have like so much similar history like I love those moments of like connecting the diaspora, so I think that in general it's been, it's been positive.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: Thank you. If anybody else has questions, please do let us know. Type it into the Q. and A. Button or in the chat. Ebony earlier. You mentioned recognition, black recognition in Mexico right? So 2021 officially is when we have numbers. So 2020 was like afro recognition, 2021, Last year we got numbers for the first time. And Mexico City came up as one of the highest counts of Afro-Mexicans, which again, I think, shocked people and this was way After Jamaica was filmed Right? So What has that? What has it felt that you made a black film based in Mexico City, And then, two years later, so the statistics came out, and Mexico City was in the top three geographies in the country with the highest population of black folk?

EBONY BAILEY:  like I knew that happened before. It was a thing but, So I really like maps, and I really like looking at the statistics of things, and so actually seeing the numbers. And in it all like laid out on the map, was just like so validating for me. It felt like, Wow! Like we're not. We're not like I don't know. I feel like a lot of people in like the afro anti-racist kind of space in Mexico, especially Ciudad Mexico, are almost like almost like turned around to think that they're just like not right, or that they don't know if they're doing this right. Or people like gas almost like gas, like collective gas lighting. Pero no hay negros in Mexico, and there aren't black people in Mexico. There's not that many of you and stuff like that? And so actually seeing the numbers there, and seeing, like seeing my experience of knowing a lot of people, and like the afro space in Ciudad Mexico. actually like visualized on a map. It's just like a really cool, cool thing to see and like and super, super validating.

So yeah, it was. It was nice to see that, and also just going back to like, I think, that I made Jamaica, and like the really almost like I don't know if it's pivotal as the right word, but I feel it felt like a very like important time in like the Afro movement in Mexico, which I thought was kind of interesting because I was like in it. Which didn't even happen like on purpose. It was just like a coincidence. And I don't want to make Jamaica like more important than it is, but it feels like it was like part of this wave of this recognition of blackness in Mexico, and like getting to know a lot of people that aren't even in the film, but that feel like a part of the film to me just because of What was happening at the time, and knowing like in the years leading up to the recognition, which was when I was making Jamaica, so it was. The timing of it was just so like for me, like important because I felt like I had community. I felt like I had found my community there. So yeah,

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: beautiful. And we have two questions. One question from Alice. I'm going to read both. One question from Alison Murray is, Do you have any favorite Afro-Mexican dishes you like to prepare? I just tried tamarindo for the first time inspired by your film. Thank you. So that was Allison Murray. Other question by Jack Hangersbach is what are some Afro Latinx creators you love? And third question is, como fue ese movimiento de la comunidad afro en la Ciudad de Mexico?

EBONY BAILEY:  Ooh, that third question. the first one, I think I mean. I really like, so I'm vegetarian. So I try to think of different ways of making tacos like tacos del frijoles, del garbanzo, hongos. But one of the things I really like to make, and that kind of reminds me of, like the Afro heritage in Mexico, is tacos de jamaica, and I also make a salsa con tamarindo. And so it's like pretty easy if anybody wants to make it. Actually, I think I have a recipe somewhere on my website. but it's basically you, I like to cut the like acid flavor with hongos. So I make the hongos first in the pan, and then I, you make agua de jamaica. So you boil the jamaica when you make your water like as you normally make it, and then you use those flowers from the agua, and you throw them on the pan and that's when you make the Tacos. And then from there I make this salsa del tamarindo with habanero sauce and tamarindo, and it's like a really good combination. It's so good I haven't done it in a while. Actually, I need to do it again. So yeah, that's like my favorite thing to make. when I think of like this kind of dish.

but there's also a really good scholar named Doris Careaga, who writes about Afro-Mexican cuisine in Veracruz because she's from Veracruz, she's afro Mexican. And so you can find some of her books, or I can probably write her name down in the chat, too, so you can look her up. Oh, what are some, afro, that's actually a good segue into the next question.

So I really love Doris Careaga. She's also like a compa, friend that I've made like in this whole process of making Jamaica, and being in community with these folks, I mean, she invited me, I think, might have been the last time I talked about Jamaica. She invited me to New Mexico to speak about Jamaica a few months ago. She's a professor there. So that was really really nice to go there and have like, I think, one of my first in-person screenings that I had that I had since Covid had happened.

And I also really admire Alan. I actually had been following Alan for like a long time, because they were friends with one of my friends from high school, and one of my friends from high school, he posted like one of your stories, like a long time, or one of your poems like a long time ago. And so from there I was like following Alan on social media.

But I also really like diaspora or Dash Harris um, or diaspora dash on, I think, on Twitter or on Instagram. She just has like a really good, I just really like the way that she talks about the history of mestizaje and black history in Latin America and all that stuff. And then also thinking about creators like. I like all the creators that are in Jamaica Y Tamarindo, so, like Leona, is a poet and a musician. Chai is a musician. Zuri is a musician, and also a bulgar now, like a ballroom. They're very like involved in the ballroom scene in Mexico City and I think that I'll have to look up their IG handle for their ballroom stuff. But if I send it to y'all would y'all just like an email to everybody afterwards? And I could send like a link about all these people. and Marbella's becoming like a makeup artist in Mexico City, and like really focusing on dark skin. So for me, that's like important, because a lot of a lot of makeup artists in Mexico at least the ones that are the few that I've had like an encounter with. They're always Oh, my gosh! I need to get new colors. I don't have enough for your skin tone. And so it's really important that she's like in that space. And then Seyna is a cook too. Seyna, she's like she's a really good cook. so I love all of them as well. There, there's a reason why they're in the film.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: No, thank you so much, Ebony, for joining us at the Center for Race and Gender. we absolutely love this. So if any of you are part of UC Berkeley, if you log in to the Kanopy website for UC Berkeley, You'll be able to stream Jamaica Y Tamarindo from your own home. Just sign up with your Berkeley email, and password. for those of you who are not from Berkeley. you might still get access to the film if you can contact like your local library. A lot of libraries Have permission to stream it so, Please hit them up. And Ebony, I don't know if you want to say any last couple of words before we close up the session.

EBONY BAILEYYeah, I just wanted to say thank you so much for everybody who's here. Thank you to Alan and to the Center of Race and gender studies. and UC Berkeley for the invitation. it was pretty yeah, I think it was for me. It was like all like emotional too like nostalgia to watch it and talk about all of this And I'm excited to connect in person. to anybody, Actually, if anybody's in like the San Diego/Tijuana area, or if I ever go up to the Bay area. yeah, I'm excited to connect. So thank you so much.

ALAN PELEAZ LOPEZ: Well thank you, Ebony, and thank you everybody for coming, again, this was the Center for Race and Gender. Thank you!