‘AFROPOP’ continues with Season 13 shorts showcase on April 26

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Afro Pop

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Amir George’s ‘Man of the People’ profiles Mayor Harold Washington

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, the acclaimed documentary series showcasing contemporary stories from all corners of the African Diaspora, returned for Season 13 earlier this month with five new episodes. This year, AfroPoP journeys to Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba with films highlighting the men and women shaping the cultural innovations and social movements that drive our world forward. In addition to airing the first-run premieres of the new season, this year WORLD Channel joins Black Public Media (BPM) as co-executive producer of the series. Distributed and co-presented by American Public Television (APT), AfroPoP season 13 debuted on WORLD Channel and worldchannel.org.

The innovative collaboration between WORLD Channel and BPM sees the two organizations working in concert to identify, curate and present storytellers and stories from and about Black and brown creatives.

“This year’s films truly reflect the great diversity, beauty and talent of the Black community, the types of stories that people are clamoring for that reframe the lens on the Black experience,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, Afro-PoP executive producer. “We are grateful for the deeper partnership with WORLD Channel that allows us to share more of these treasures with the American people.”

SCENE FROM ‘ELENA,’ an insightful portrayal of a young woman in the Dominican Republic working to combat anti-Blackness on the island. (Photo by Alfredo Alcantara).

“We are delighted to be working directly with Black Public Media from start to finish on this season of AfroPoP,” noted Chris Hastings, executive producer for WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston. “The series has always been a wonderful encapsulation of the type of content we present at WORLD Channel and as we continue to bring films and stories from media makers from diverse backgrounds to our audience year round, we are thrilled to have AfroPoP as one of our anchoring programs.”

Season 13 of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange continues with its fourth episode, a shorts collection presenting an eclectic view of contemporary stories from the African Diaspora. Exploring modern art, human rights and politics, the AfroPoP shorts program premieres on Monday, April 26, at 8 p.m. ET.

The films will continue streaming at worldchannel.org after their TV premiere.

This showcase features Christine Turner’s “Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business,” profiling the work and life of the 93-year-old Black visual artist and “Elena,” Michèle Stephenson’s insightful portrayal of a young woman in the Dominican Republic working to combat anti-Blackness on the island.

One of the shorts is Chicago-based filmmaker Amir George’s “Man of the People,” a poetic, experimental look at Chicago’s first Black mayor, Harold Washington.

HAROLD WASHINGTON
CHICAGO’S FIRST BLACK mayor, Harold Washington, is the subject of Amir George’s ‘Man of the People.’

Mixing archival footage of Washington’s 1980s campaigns and historical images of Black life in Chicago set against a moving score by Lilianna Zofia Wosko, the film explores Washington’s mayoral campaigns, his ability to connect with different groups in the highly segregated city and his mysterious and unexpected death.

Through poignant images and music, the filmmaker revisits one of Chicago’s most notable political figures and his lasting legacy.

The season closes with “Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba” (May 3), as filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantuzzi brings viewers on a tour of Santiago de Cuba with music producer DJ Jigüe to explore the city’s historical connections to Africa and modern ties to the continent’s AfroBeats and the burgeoning musical genre known as bakosó.

APT will release the season to public television stations nationwide on Saturday, May 1, following its premiere on WORLD Channel.

Black Public Media (BPM) is committed to enriching our democracy by educating, enlightening, empowering and engaging the American public about the Black experience. Founded in 1979, the nonprofit pursues its mission by developing, producing and distributing innovative Black media content through public media outlets and by investing in visionary Black content makers.

For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org.

Search {https://tinyurl.com/9v44cwkm] to see a trailer.

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