Mexico is home to many African-descended peoples who have now
immigrated to Southern California.
The name Invisible Roots pays homage to the “third root” of Mexico, its African roots, with the other two roots being indigenous and Spaniard that make up Mexico’s heritage.
We meet the Herrera family in Pasadena,
the Cisneros family in Santa Ana
and Yismar, a college student at UC Santa Barbara.
Through intimate portraits, they discuss what it means to be Mexican with African roots, roots that are often forgotten, denied and many times despised.
In Pasadena, we watch the famous La Danza de los Diablos (The Dance of the Devils) and learn its importance.
Santa Ana takes us deeper into Afro-Mexican culture as we experience the culinary secrets of the close-knit community from Cuajinicuilapa and their spiritual traditions.
We walk with Yismar at UC Santa Barbara and along the beautiful beach there as he discusses complex issues of individual identity, cultural identity, racism and acceptance on all levels.
Scholar-historians Alva Moore Stevenson and Daniel Cendejaz Mendez provide a historical context.
Music by Kemo the Blaxican energizes the scenes.