Acclaimed actress Nikki Beharie will host the ninth season of the enlightening and award-winning public television show AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. This season, the series presents a slate of documentaries to inspire and uplift, films that show how individuals and groups are positively impacting their communities and families and that capture the importance of home. The program premieres on WORLD Channel at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Monday, January 16—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—with new episodes airing weekly through February 15. AfroPoP is produced by National Black Programming Consortium program and co-presented by series distributor American Public Television (APT). APT will release the series to the nation’s public television stations in February 2016.
Beharie is best known for her star turn in the hit Fox TV show Sleepy Hollow and for her for breakout role in director Steve McQueen’s Shame opposite Michael Fassbender.
Previous hosts of AfroPoP, which has been revealing fascinating stories on contemporary life, art and culture in the African Diaspora since 2008, include Idris Elba, Anika Noni Rose, Wyatt Cenac, Gabourey Sidibe, Anthony Mackie, Yaya DaCosta and Jussie Smollett.
“NBPC has been so fortunate to have had great hosts bring their fame to the show and either watch the series or really support the mission of the program,” said NBPC Director of Programs and Acquisitions and AfroPoP Executive Producer Kay Shaw. “Nikki Beharie does both! She was a very informed and engaged host, which comes through every episode.”
The five-week series travels from North America to Africa to the Caribbean and back again, taking viewers on a journey of hope throughout the Diaspora. Episodes include:
George Potter and Andy Adkins’ gripping An American Ascent (January 16) highlights the first African-American team of climbers as they attempt to summit Denali, North America’s highest peak, challenging their personal limits as well as society’s notions of what a mountaineer looks like.
The moving Intore, by Eric Kabera (January 23), demonstrates the impact a new generation of artists in Rwanda is having in healing a nation that suffered greatly in the horrific 100-day genocide in 1994.
Tyler Johnston and Miquel Galofré’s beautiful My Father’s Land (January 30) follows an illegal immigrant in the Bahamas and the lengths to which he goes to return to his native Haiti to see his ailing 103-year-old father, while exploring issues of immigration and human rights.
Eva Weber’s important documentary Black Out (February 6) shines the spotlight on schoolchildren in Guinea who trek for miles each day during exam season to find places with light so they can study and better themselves and their families. Black Out will air with Olivia Peace’s narrative short Pangaea, a moving story of a young girl who was trapped on a rooftop after Hurricane Katrina.
The series finale is the heartwarming Omo Child: The River and the Bush by John Rowe (February 13) which shows the positive impact one determined individual can have on his community to save lives. Shot over five years, the film follows Lale Labuko, from the Kara tribe in the Om33o Valley, Ethiopia, as he works to create a cultural shift in his tribe by ending an ancient practice that will save a generation of children.
““This season of AfroPoP features compelling programs from both the U.S. and around the globe. We look forward to sharing these stories with American audiences,” said APT Director Business Development & International Sales Tom Davison.
“More than ever before, AfroPoP’s captivating look into the diverse stories of African Disapora are important and relevant. WORLD Channel is excited to be the first to bring the new season of AfroPoP to US audiences,” said WORLD Channel Executive Producer Chris Hastings. “Viewers may find that the cultural experiences shown through each film are similar to their own personal journeys.”
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is produced by Angela Tucker and directed by Duana Butler with the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts.
To find out more about AfroPoP, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org. For viewing information, check local listings or www.APTonline.org.