Based on Ehcrama Marche’s real-life childhood experiences growing up as a Black Mexican-Dominican in Montebello, California, Hella Black Mexican confronts colorism and antiblackness in Latinx countries and communities.
Writer, Animator, Director, Editor, and Photographer Ehcrama Marche (website) centers Afro-Latinx experiences in her animated series Hella Black Mexican. From realizing she’s Black at ten years old, to the microaggressions and blatant racism from Latinx communities, Ehcrama’s show highlights these issues in her cartoon telenovela comedy.
The series, which premiered in 2020, recounts Ehcrama’s life from her birth in 1998 to her childhood years. In elementary school, Ehcrama’s teacher’s racist comments while speaking about Martin Luther King Jr cause her classmates to stare at her. While at a friend’s house for a class project, her friend’s parents give her leftover KFC chicken for dinner instead of their enchiladas. According to the friend’s father, there’s not enough to feed another mouth, but really, he’s being racist.
In another episode, Ehcrama’s mother shares the story of visiting her family in Mexico, Ehcrama being eight months old at the time. The aunt refuses to hold Ehcrama. That moment when the mother’s sister insists that Ehcrama affects the entire family is well nuanced and demonstrates antiblackness in a subtle but all too effective way.
While Hella Black Mexican provides an entertaining and laugh-out-loud experience, the intra-community issues of antiblackness and colorism are much-needed discussions. Many non-Black Latinx skirt around racism and deny white privilege in workspaces, schools, and the media. And of course, there’s the sentiment that you should mejorar la raza (better the race).
Ehcrama explains her experiences further in videos where she presents herself to her viewers. Born to a white presenting Mexican mother (the father is absent throughout Ehcrama’s life), she’s thought herself adopted because she doesn’t share her mother’s skin and hair. Her half-brother, also white presenting, gets told by his friends that he and Ehcrama aren’t related.
Ehcrama’s other works include It’s What’s On the Inside (2021) and Horchata with Oat Milk (2021), the latter releasing in July this year. She’s also worked on several short films, which you can watch on her site.
Hella Black Mexican, created and edited by Ehcrama Marche, directed by her and Christian Leyva, and produced by Jeffrey Reyes, features the voices of Beto Perez (narrator), Wendy Guzman, and more. Writers for the series include Karliah Butler, Craig Miller, and more. Ehcrama and Christian have also worked on the animation.
For more media recommendations, check out this tag. You can find more about Black creators and their works on The Geekiary here.
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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