Codings of Blackness in Mexican Cinema: An Analysis of La Negrada

Ebony Marie Bailey

Abstract


In a country whose national identity revolves around the idea of mestizaje, Blackness has been omitted from official discourses surrounding mexicanidad. As a result, Afro populations in Mexico have been subjected to codings that render them invisible, otherized and inferior. This paper analyzes the codings of Blackness in Mexico as reflected in the space of art and cinema, specifically the film La Negrada, the first feature fiction film to introduce an all Afro-Mexican cast. On one hand, there is an attempt to reclaim and make visible Mexico’s African roots. On the other, the film also walks the line of reproducing a colonial vision of Blackness in Mexico that has existed throughout history. I apply Joaquin Barriendos’ concept of “coloniality of seeing” to analyze historical representations of Blackness in Mexican cinema, and to analyze La Negrada in relation to those films.

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.32855/palara.2019.001

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