Black Expats poster

In search of a new American Dream

Logline

There’s a movement of Black Americans emigrating out of the U.S., and it’s happening in plain sight.

Summary

The documentary film explores a movement of Black Americans who are leaving the United States and moving to other countries, particularly to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This is not a new phenomenon, as prominent Black Americans have been moving abroad for generations-  from Frederick Douglas to James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Josephine Baker – to study, teach, or perform as entertainers, with the added benefit of escaping racism. However, the documentary highlights that new movement of Black Americans who are now emigrating out of the U.S. for a chance at a better overall lifestyle, which includes safety, affordability, and community.

The film is still in its early production stages, but journalist Dayvee Sutton has already conducted 21 interviews with Black Americans living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Sutton, who also lives abroad for periods of time, discovered a vibrant community of Black Americans who have claimed this part of Mexico as their new home. The community ranges from singles, couples, families, professionals who work remotely, to entrepreneurs who have opened new businesses in Mexico. Sutton hired a photographer and started collecting interviews, which will cover themes such as why they moved, why Mexico, lifestyle, starting businesses, gentrification, community, safety, resources, which includes the starting point for so many, the Facebook Group. “The Facebook Group offers people instant community. It’s full of resources and people willing to guide you on everything from finding a dermatologist to the details for the next cookout.” 

The film will feature stories from a variety of Black Expats, including a solo traveler, a major restauranteur from Atlanta who moved his family, an artist, a music executive, and more. The reasons for leaving the U.S. are driven by not feeling safe, particularly after George Floyd’s murder, affordability, and lifestyle. Black Americans who have moved to Mexico have found a sense of community and freedom that they did not experience in the U.S. They have figured out how to free themselves, and this movement is happening in plain sight.

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