YaYa AfroPop

The National Black  Programming Consortium (NBPC)‘s world premiere of the one of a kind public television series AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, will air tonight at 8pm ET/10PM PT on the World Channel. The show is co-presented by American Public Television (APT).

Actress/model Yaya DaCosta, who has been in the news recently for her portrayal of legendary singer Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic, will host the 7th season of AfroPop as it documents life, art, and culture in the African Diaspora. DaCosta joins an elite ensemble of AfroPop’s past hosts, which includes Idris Elba, Anika Noni Rose, Wyatt Cenac, Gabourey Sidibe, and Anthony Mackie. The season will air every Monday night and run weekly through February 16. NBPC Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz says:

“This season of AfroPoP takes viewers to far-flung corners of the world: where men and women of African descent are taking the lead in human rights and public health issues; where others are pushing women in new directions; and where a new generation of top artists are being given a voice.”

Season 7 of AfroPop opens with The Carrier, directed by Maggie Betts. Betts takes viewers on a journey to a Zambian community and a family beset by AIDS. Twenty-eight-year-old Mutinta Mweemba has married a handsome man, only to discover he is already married. Begrudgingly she becomes wife #2. A third wife brings drama soon overshadowed by the spread of AIDS throughout the family. When Mutinta discovers she is pregnant, she begins a courageous quest to ensure the virus isn’t passed on to the next generation. The Carrier is, ultimately, an uplifting tale of how an individual—and a community—can stare down the faceless terror of AIDS and, against all odds, prevail.

Fields-Cruz adds:

Maggie’s timely film challenges the prevailing notion of complacency and incompetence of African people in the face of deadly disease. Instead it captures the effective mobilization of individuals and the community to protect themselves despite serious obstacles, offering hope to those embroiled in the battle against Ebola.”

This season of AfroPop will also feature Ladie’s Turn, Sounds of Torture, AFROPUNK Presents the Triptych, and The Abominable Crime.

New episodes of AfroPoP premiere each Monday, from January 19 through February 16. The second film in the series is Hélène Harder’s Ladies’ Turn (January 26), which shows the lengths to which young women in Senegal will go to compete as soccer players despite the misogynic attitudes that threaten to stop them. Next is Keren Shayo’s Sound of Torture (February 2), which follows Eritrean radio host and Swedish resident Meron Estefanos as she broadcasts the heartbreaking calls of kidnapped Eritrean refugees desperately trying to raise ransom funds to secure their release from torture camps in the Sinai desert.

Terence Nance and Barron Claiborne’s AFROPUNK presents The Triptych (February 9) captures the intimate reflections of three of today’s celebrated visual artists: interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers, multimedia artist and sculptor Wangechi Mutu and photographer Barron Claiborne. (The Sanford Biggers and Wangechi Mutu segments will air on public television; the Barron Claiborne segment will air online at PBS.org and blackpublicmedia.org.)

The final episode, Micah Fink’s The Abominable Crime (February 16), shines the spotlight on homophobia in Jamaica from the view of a lesbian single mother, seeking asylum after being shot because of her sexual orientation, and a Jamaican human rights activist who is forced to flee the country because of death threats after being outed.

AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is produced by Angela Tucker and directed by Duana Butler.

For more info on AfroPop visit The National Black Programming Consortium.

This post was written by Reginald Calhoun, editorial assistant for The Burton Wire. He is a junior Mass Media Arts major at Clark Atlanta University. Follow him on Twitter @IRMarsean.

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