AfroPop has delighted audiences for nine seasons. Season eight’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.
Days of Hope
As immigration and refugee concerns dominate the news, AfroPoP takes on migration and asylum head on. The series begins its journey on the Saharan shores of the Atlantic Ocean as an African immigrant sets off to Europe with buoyant expectations of a better life. Director Ditte Haarløv Johnsen’s Days of Hope (January 18) is a nuanced look at the unflinching courage of three West African migrants who cross the Sahara desert and Atlantic Ocean in a search for opportunity and safety.
Pan! Our Music Odyssey
The next stop is the Caribbean with Pan! Our Music Odyssey (January 25), a joyful celebration of the melodious steel drum. Directors Jérôme Guiot and Thierry Teston explore the magical instrument from its development in Trinidad to its celebration around the world, as bands from across the globe gather to compete in the ultimate steel band competition: Panorama.
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Heading to São Vicente in Cape Verde, we meet Tchinda, a transgender woman who is so cherished that her name has become synonymous with LBGT people in the area. Pablo García Pérez de Lara and Marc Serena’s Tchindas (February 1) follows the celebrated character, out and proud since 1998, as she and her cohorts prepare for the beloved annual carnival.
The festivities continue as AfroPoP travels to Oakland, California—a city with a reputation as one of the most dangerous in America—as it works to rebrand itself through its successful First Fridays monthly street festival. The murder of a young Black man sends the city reeling, threatening the very survival of this community celebration and, perhaps, the town’s very renaissance. First Fridays (February 8) by N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni follows six Oakland figures as their lives connect one Friday at this showcase of art and culture.
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The journey ends on the ultimate expression of hope—our youth—with shorts from the west and east coasts of Africa (Monday, February 15). Nosarieme Garrick’s My Africa Is, set in the bustling, modern city of Nairobi, introduces viewers to dynamic youth envisioning a new Kenya—designers, inventors and musicians changing the face of their communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. Terence Nance and Blitz the Ambassador’s Native Sun helps viewers see Ghana through the eyes and dreams of an eight-year-old in search of his father.
My Africa Is
My Africa Is peers into the soul and spirit of Nairobi through three stories of innovation. Viewers will meet game developers who create African superheroes to inspire Kenyan youth; a self-taught engineer who builds drones as a solution to Kenya’s poaching problems and trans youth in the technology to build human capacity; and two rock band that are part of a growing rock scene in Nairobi. Along the way, viewers will be introduced to the city, a restless and bustling metropolis with a musicality and energy that only locals can fathom. Meet the Africa that most don’t know but which is the reality of millions.