UCI’s Latinx Resource Center welcomed guest speaker Ehcrama Marche, creator and animator of the animated YouTube miniseries “Hella Black Mexican” to host a discussion of her works and their significance to the Latinx and Afro-Latinx communities on Feb. 9.
“Hella Black Mexican” is a semi-autobiographical series based on real events that occurred in Marche’s life, confronting issues such as anti-Black racism among the Hispanic community and building a sense of identity as a mixed-race child growing up in a single-parent home.
“We took a lot of different scenarios that had happened and mixed it into this one episode,” Marche said of a particular episode in which the fictionalized version of herself is met with hostility by the family of a Latino friend during a visit to his home.
Marche, who is half-Black and half-Mexican, grew up in an environment dominated by Mexican culture. As a result, Marche faced prejudice for her appearance by those who she grew up around because of her dark complexion.
One of the featured episodes from the discussion focuses on Marche’s hair, which is curly and voluminous. In the episode, Marche’s Mexican mother does not know how to groom her hair, leading to an embarrassing school picture. For Marche, this experience accentuated the differences between herself and her own family. These distinctions not only made Marche feel different from the people around her, but also prompted her to search for her own sense of ethnic identity.
“After I found out I was Black, I started looking at color more, I started looking at race more,” Marche said. “I was definitely paying a lot more attention to it. Especially around the time when we started discussing [Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] in class, that’s when your eyes are really open to, ‘Oh, this is really happening’. The way they speak about Black people and being slaves and all that. I definitely started to see color.”
Marche also discussed some of the ways that those who are a part of the Latinx community can make a difference and fight anti-Blackness within the community.
“I think [the] first [step] would be having a discussion. Being vulnerable is very important. I’m very open when talking about my experiences,” Marche said. “Being educated, being open and knowing the history.”
Regarding the future, Marche shared a sentiment of positivity and hopefulness.
“I already think the world is moving in a more positive way compared to the past,” Marche stated. “For there to be content like this is very important.”
Quinn Tubiolo is a Campus News Intern for the winter 2022 quarter. He can be reached at email@example.com.