South LA Hubs

Juan Barrios
Jesus Castro
Edward Chanquin
Vanessa Rodriguez
Leah Valencia

This film is about the hope and comfort that Brown infrastructure brings to South LA, the home of five Brown teens.  We were inspired by Frances E.W. Harper’s portrayal of Black infrastructure, such as the AME Church, or the locations for secret meetings held by enslaved persons  before the Civil War. Her purpose in portraying black infrastructure was to emphasize the importance of family reunification, and brought faith into bringing the broken ties formed from slavery. Black Infrastructure are places that are based on the foundation of giving African Americans to seek more knowledge, and have the right to long for their lost family members, a place where how they feel matters. Our film will take the viewer through walkthroughs of our own personal hubs where we tie in personal experiences that connected us to these locations, interwoven with the recurring visual trope of a penny. In one sense, the penny represents the ways our world can keep spinning and spinning, and yet also can come to a sudden stop (due to COVID-19). In another sense,  we see that even if the penny’s value may seem small, its constant circulation makes it have a broader impact on all our lives.
Just as Harper showcased the resilience of the Black community within these spaces, we show our hubs' own resilience.  Though altered by the times of COVID, they remain open and safe for the Latinx community to circulate and persevere. 

South LA Hubs would like to thank Luis Market & Baldwin Hills Mall for permission to film at their sites. The soundtrack of this film samples from “Homies” (Instrumental) by A Lighter Shade of Brown, “Stairway t o Heaven (instrumental) by Led Zeppelin, “Nuthin’ but a g thang” by Quantic, and an original piano score, “The Keys of Our Hubs” by Juan Barrios.

Note from the filmmakers: Since the completion of our film, COVID-19 cases have continued to go up. As of the beginning of February of 2021,  there are 26.9 million cases and 460,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the US.

“Although slaves were denied unrestricted travel, and the holding of meetings without the surveillance of a white man, yet they contrived to meet by stealth and hold gatherings where they could mingle their prayers and tears, and lay plans for escaping to the Union army. Outwitting the vigilance of the patrollers and home guards, they established these meetings miles apart, extending into several States.”