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African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth
8/12/2006 - 10/14/2006
A photographic exhibition documenting the under-explored African presence in Mexico through powerful imagery and text. In African By Legacy, Mexican By Birth, the extraordinary photographic work of Ayana V. Jackson and the powerful narrative of Marco Villalobos bring inspired insight to the role of racial and cultural citizenship as it impacts the lives of African descendents in Mexico and throughout the Americas.
  Galería Exhibitions Mind Maps: The ReGeneration Anniversary Show <2006>
Illegal Entry <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Dulce Pinzón <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Julio Morales & William Scott <2006>
Encounters: The YPM's Greatest Hits <2006>
African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Branca Nitzsche <2006>
Graphic Witness: Works by Jesus Barraza & Juan R. Fuentes <2006>
Related Media for this Exhibition
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CURATORIAL INFORMATIONSTATEMENT ARTIST LIST  
CURATORIAL STATEMENT

The 30th anniversary of the Caribbean Cultural Center makes it clear that we must continue to examine and dismantle all negative “isms” that falsely justify the continued marginalization of our communities. We must also continue to tell our narrative from a “first voice” perspective that documents and shares the diverse experiences that have historically defined us. Important to our story is the spirit of freedom, the spirit of the maroon, that ancestral legacy of refusing enslavement and oppression. The spirit of the maroon, a force that created sacred spaces of liberation throughout Africa and the Americas, continues to inform and impact our philosophy and practices today, representing a vibrant living tradition.

In honor of this history our celebration starts with the extraordinary photographic work of Ayana V. Jackson and the powerful narrative of Marco Villalobos. Their combined work actively speak to the spirit of the maroon Yanga of Mexico who valiantly fought for the liberation of his people and assured the continuing presence of Afro Mexicans as an integral part of our living legacy. Ayana and Marco as young scholars and creative artists bring inspired insight, voice and vision that unite a historical perspective with a continuing narrative addressing the role of racial and cultural citizenship as it impacts the lives of African descendents in Mexico and throughout the Americas.

This important exhibition’s presentation in San Francisco and San Antonio is due to the support of Douglas X. Patiño and his commitment to a vision of having Afro Mexican contributions made visible and embraced by our global societies.

Marta Moreno Vega, President/Founder
The Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center, African Diaspora Institute
30th Anniversary Celebration



ARTIST STATEMENT

The individuals reflected in these images represent ancestors whose physical and intellectual property became the foundation of the economic and cultural development of Western Europe and the Americas.

The power behind their gazes reflects the size of their inheritance— our inheritance. Resistance movements employed from the very inception of displacement of Africans and Indigenous peoples within the Americas mark the first independence movements that would ultimately dismantle the colonial system.

Africa’s living legacy in Mexico offers abundant examples of such resistance. While San Lorenzo de los Negros (present day Yanga, Veracruz) is one of the earliest recorded instances of self-liberation and establishment of recognized autonomous space, it is by no means a unique or infrequent story.

As we look at these images we are reminded of the length of our family tree’s roots, as well as of the places and neighbors to which those roots connect us. Further, we hope to be reminded of key details integral in understanding the role Africans play(ed) in the formation of our contemporary reality.


Ayana V. Jackson & Marco Villalobos, 2006