Mexican Block Party in Harlem
I was fortunate to meet one of the Administrators of this Mexican music and dance organization based in Spanish Harlem at a photography exhibition. It was, coincidentally, not long after President Trump was excoriating the migration from South America into the United States. I impressed upon her the need to have positive images of Mexican people to counter the images of immigrants as people who come to America to take jobs, were devoid of skills and would be a drain on the U.S. economy among other demeaning portrayals. I explained that my goal would strive to present her organization in a positive manner befitting any immigrant group. In so doing, I was allowed to capture one of their weekly rehearsals where there was much practice and technique involved in the beautifully choreographed dances. The elaborate dresses were expensive to produce easily costing well over several hundred dollars or more. There were other acts that wonderfully warm Sunday afternoon, but her organization’s performance was the highlight. For all in attendance, were well entertained by Mexican culture on full display on the streets of New York City.
Burroughs Lamar is a New York City based documentary/photojournalist photographer. He began in 2008, with an ongoing project, entitled: Harlem: Hidden in Plain Sight, documenting Black American life in Harlem initially in the context of gentrification. But over 12 years later, the project has encompassed chronicling, events, activities, and significant personages whose photographs amplify that the Harlem community is a robust community as opposed to its stereotypical renown as an urban black ghetto. Beyond this project, he has documented various situations, protests and events such as the Mexican Block Party, much of which can be found on his website.