AfroPoP AfroPoP

S10 E2: Short Program: Lonnie Holley, Kojo and He Who Dances on Wood

An AfroPoP shorts program featuring an intimate portrait of a self-taught African-American visual artist and musical performer of Lonnie Holley from Birmingham, Alabama; the incredible story of Kojo, a twelve-year-old drumming prodigy; and follow the daily journey of Fred Nelson to find the secret joy and beauty of life in an old piece of wood.

EPISODE BRIEF

Through archival performance footage, interviews with family members and former bandmates, and the words of the woman herself, Mama Africa presents viewers with an in-depth look at the musical career and political activism that helped make Miriam Makeba a global icon. The film takes audiences on a voyage through Makeba’s tumultuous and trailblazing life. It explores her early years living under apartheid in South Africa, her subsequent exile from her homeland for her anti-apartheid stance, as well as her tireless work for the arts and the homeland she loved. Mama Africa lays bare the trials, sacrifices and triumphs of the first global African musical superstar — including her marriages to musician Hugh Masekela and Black Power leader Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) — a woman whose songs of freedom for her countrymen made the world listen.

“I believe that having an outlet in which the many faces of the global black community can be seen is something that is vital today. AfroPoP really delivers and I am happy to be a part of telling these stories,” said actress Danielle Brooks. “Mama Africa, a film about a woman who so seamlessly bridged the worlds of art and activism, is a wonderful way to start the season.”

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

Mika Kaurismäki was born on September 21, 1955 in Orimattila, Finland as Mika Juhani Kaurismäki. He is a producer and director, known for Zombie and the Ghost Train (1991), Helsinki-Naples All Night Long (1987) and Three Wise Men (2008).

BEHIND THE SCENES

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AFROPOP S10E03 - BETWEEN 2 SHORES

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