About This Series
The anthology series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is an exploration of the present-day realities and contemporary lifestyles of Africans, both on the continent and in the evolving diaspora. Hosted by actor Jussie Smollett, currently starring in the hit series "Empire," season eight offers unique perspectives on the complicated, and at times controversial, viewpoints about Africa and the diaspora.
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 expectations of a better life (Days of Hope), stops in the Caribbean for a joyful celebration of the melodious steel drum (Pan! Our Music Odyssey), heads to São Vicente in Cape Verde to meet transgender woman Tchinda as she prepares to celebrate a beloved annual festival (Tchindas), and then travels to Oakland, California to follow six figures as their lives connect at a monthly street festival (First Fridays). The journey ends on the ultimate expression of hope — our youth — with shorts from the west and east coasts of Africa (My Africa Is and Native Sun).
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is produced by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).
Days of Hope
Weaving three immigrant stories into a unflinching portrait of courage and sacrifice as they travel across deserts and oceans from Africa to Europe in the hopes of providing a better life for the families they leave behind. As the narrative unfolds, we learn that each of the three characters has motivations very similar to those that drive us all.
PAN! Our Music Odyssey
Since the evolution of Pan, steelbands have mushroomed in every corner of the planet. Each year, orchestras of over 100 musicians come to Trinidad to compete for the greatest Pan event: the Panaroma. This is the story of the men and women who staked all on their art, and whose passion and daring has drawn them to the world championships.
Calm reigns in Sâo Vicente. Tchinda, one of the community's most beloved transgender women, prepares for Carnival in which the Cape Verdean island evolves as thousands of people pack into the streets. Leading up to the event, the locals work together to make something beautiful out of nothing, recycling everything to create a magical structure.
On the first Friday of every month, thousands gather in downtown Oakland. Rich & poor, young & old, black & white, they all meet here. As the event grows, it becomes attached to the city's cultural and economic renaissance. But after a teenager is murdered during the event, the future of First Fridays and the rebirth of Oakland itself is in peril.
My Africa Is & Native Sun
Two short documentaries about the people of and the continent that is Africa. My Africa Is introduces the city of Nairobi, and peers into the soul and spirit of the bustling metropolis through three stories of innovation. Native Sun follows a young boy in search of his father while expanding the view of what Africa is and what it will be.