El Segundo For Black Lives and ESMoA invite you to join an intimate conversation with Black residents, professionals, students and visitors to El Segundo. Black in Mayberry was born from the protests held in El Segundo by El Segundo for Black Lives (ESBL) following the murder of George Floyd. The film's producer, Tanya Taylor, was the events and community education coordinator for ESBL. The director, Mark Knight, documented these protests through photography and video. As the two began to collaborate on the documentation of the protests in El Segundo, a dialogue opened up about what's not usually said between Black and white people. Starting with that conversation, Tanya and Mark approached ESMoA for an artistic partnership and a liberating space to give birth to Black in Mayberry, a 13-part short film series.
Through Black in Mayberry, Black people in El Segundo have set aside their inhibitions and made themselves vulnerable in order to share their truth. We hope that these short episodes (each 3-4 minutes) on topics rarely discussed publicly will create a safe and unfiltered opportunity to learn more about what it is to be Black in El Segundo and in America in 2020.
Black in Mayberry received the audience award of "Best Documentary" from the Marina del Rey Film Festival.
Why Black in Mayberry?
El Segundo has long heralded itself as “Mayberry by the Sea.” Mayberry is in reference to the fictional southern town in the early 1960’s TV series The Andy Griffith Show, which was small, quiet, tight-knit and almost entirely white. While its sunny PR image as “Mayberry by the Sea” might evoke dreamy nostalgia and a strong sense of belonging among its predominantly white residents, the reality of life in El Segundo is more complicated for its Black residents, students and visitors.
This project was made with much love and passion and now we invite all to share in the completed works. If you would like to support this project with a small donation it will help to cover the costs incurred for creating the film, hosting a premiere and all remaining proceeds will go towards supporting arts that amplify Black voices.
Thank you from us all.
Tanya Taylor is an international tax and private equity lawyer who joined El Segundo for Black Lives in 2020 as one of the founder members and coordinator for events & community education. As a longtime activist and advocate for civil rights and social justice she felt that even a community as small as El Segundo needed to be woken up to the daily injustices Black people face in America.
Mark Knight is a photographer who pursues local social improvement through his lens. He volunteers with ESMoA, supports El Segundo for Black Lives (ESBL), and is presently serving a 3-year term on the El Segundo Arts & Culture Council (ACC). He was inspired to learn videography during a discussion with Tanya about how to make the powerful words and images of the protests available to those who were unable to witness them in person. Black in Mayberry is his first feature-length production.
ESMoA is an art laboratory located in El Segundo, California and it is run by artlab21 Foundation. Our mission is to Spread the Spark of Creativity through the display and education of visual arts. ESMoA functions as a catalyst for creative thinking offering unique Experiences. The Experiences - our word for exhibition/exhibit - present a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, works on paper, performances, and photography.
El Segundo for Black Lives is a local social justice organization dedicated to addressing and combating systemic racism within every institution and aspect of our community.