AfroPop has delighted audiences for nine seasons. Season ten’s stories are just as beautifully and poignantly told, and remind us that not enough has changed for people of African descent globally. Black Public Media is committed to continuing to bring to the American public these stories and others that celebrate the art, culture and creativity people of African descent for another 10 years.
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, as a series, celebrates the cultural and historical growth that has occurred in the last generation using films tailored to a world audience from insightful, artful and often unique local perspectives. These films are always carefully selected to portray a more balanced view of Africa than you’ll get on the nightly news and to provide fuel for what must be a global conversation on the present day realities and contemporary lifestyles of Africans, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.
AfroPoP is a US-based public television show featuring independent documentaries and short films about life, art, and culture from the contemporary African Diaspora. The African Diaspora includes Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, South America, Europe, the US, and anywhere people of African descent have made a significant contribution to the culture. AfroPoP is the only series on US public television that focuses solely on stories from the African Diaspora.
Haiti: One Day, One Destiny
Haitian-American filmmaker, Michele Stephenson visits Haiti six weeks after one of the world’s most devastating earthquakes. There to document the personal stories of the Haitian people, Michele gives us a glimpse of the emotional impact this tragedy has from the prospective of the thousands of Haitians living outside of Haiti who have been engaged in the recovery from the onset and will most likely be the ones to continue it once the story has retreated from the world stage.
Watch the filmmaker chat
Mrs. Goundo's Daughter
Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter is the story of a young mother’s quest to keep her baby daughter healthy and whole. It is also the story of the African tradition of female genital cutting—which dates back thousands of years—and how it affects people’s lives in just two of the many places where the practice is being debated today. To stay in the U.S., Malian immigrant Mrs. Goundo must persuade an immigration judge that her two-year-old daughter Djenebou, born in the U.S., will most certainly suffer clitoral excision if Goundo is deported to Mali where up to 85% of women and girls are excised. The film also focuses on people from both sides of the argument in Mali: activists fighting to the end the practice and traditionalists who defend excisions.
Nora is based on true stories from the life of dancer Nora Chipaumire, who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965. Using performance and dance, Nora brings her history to life in a swiftly-moving poem of sound and image, offering an insight into both her life and Zimbabwe’s history and political struggles.
The Other Side of the Water: Journey of a Haitian Rara Band
The Other Side of the Water follows a 20-year journey of the Haitian-American community, told through the lens of a vodou-based walking band in Brooklyn. The music is called rara: part-carnival, part-vodou ceremony, and part-grassroots protest. Rara originally served as a voice of the slaves in their revolt against the French and continued on as the voice of those struggling against ongoing dictatorship in Haiti. The Other Side of the Water focuses on the journey of the poetic visionary Pé Yves, a leader of the rara movement in New York since the late ‘80s, as he strives to keep this musical art form alive while encountering attacks from the Haitian Christian community and new ideas from younger members of the rara movement.
Uprooted explores the effect of Colombia’s civil war on the people of the Colombian Pacific region, an area that, for centuries, remained exclusively a mining frontier on the periphery of the nation’s development. The majority of the population—freed and runaway slaves and indigenous peoples—lived in relatively dispersed communities up and down the river basin, where their livelihoods depended on agriculture, gold panning, fishing and the collection of shellfish in the river deltas. However, the Colombian Pacific has become a new frontier for development and as Colombia’s civil war has escalated, violence and mass displacement have become all too common as struggles for land and resources intensify. At the center of Uprooted are Noris, a mother and community leader, and her family, displaced since 1996 and living in a refugee shelter on the outskirts of Quibdó, a growing city on the Pacific Coast. This documentary is an intimate portrayal of the tragedy of uprooting; a beautifully detailed tale about struggle and resilience; a bittersweet story of loss, love, family, and dreams.
125 Franco's Blvd.
When a community is in the process of development and gentrification, what happens to the art and culture that represents the people of that community? With colorful strokes, Franco the Great has been painting murals on the storefront roll-down gates (riot gates) on 125th Street in Harlem for 40 years. A rezoning legislation and recently passed city law threaten to remove those gates along with the art and culture that is painted on them. Who will step up and preserve Franco’s art in the wake of big plans to change Harlem?
Sanza Hanza: King Surfer
Sanza Hanza, a Zulu dialect term for King Surfer, is a short documentary following V.I.R.U.S (Very Intelligent Riders Usually Survive), a gang of young train surfers in the South African slums of Soweto. Born out of a restless desire to embrace life (and death) after years of oppression, it is here that you will find train surfing—the semi-suicidal act of climbing outside, on top and under the city’s public trains while in full flight. Sanza Hanza intimately captures the bleak, almost existential outlook exhibited by many of the best train surfers as they search for the ultimate ride.
Rise Up: Reggae Underground
RiseUp is a journey into the heart of Jamaica—the island that gave birth to the worldwide cultural phenomenon of reggae. In a society where talent abounds and opportunity is scarce, three courageous artists fight to rise up from obscurity and write themselves into the pages of history. With music and appearances by legends Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, RiseUp follows artists who demonstrate the raw power of hope and courage in a land which is largely unseen, but certainly not unsung. The film won the 2009 American Film Institute/Discovery Silverdocs Best Music Documentary Award.