‘AfroPoP Turns Sweet 16 Next Month

Black Public Media
3 min readMar 26, 2024

by Leslie Fields-Cruz

It’s hard to believe our signature series, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, will launch its 16th season next Monday (April 1). Over the years, Black Public Media has enjoyed the privilege of bringing independent films from around the African diaspora to public media audiences in the United States. The series also helps independent filmmakers get exposure they might not receive otherwise.

Season 16’s four episodes offer a balanced blend of documentary and narrative titles. Our first episode features, Commuted, by Nailah Jefferson. The film was a 2019 PitchBLACK winner. It follows one woman’s journey to re-enter society after having her triple-life prison sentence commuted by then President Barack Obama.

Starting Over After Prison

Imagine having to start your life over after more than two decades in custody. Your mother dies only months after your release. Your children, who were small when you got locked up, are now adults. One is married with a child of her own. How do you rebuild those relationships? How do you find a job, a place to live? How do you make new friends? People like Danielle Metz, the focus of Commuted, face these challenges every day. The family, societal and economic repercussions of our nation’s gathering trend of incarcerating women — a majority of whom are mothers — are staggering. Commuted’s tender examination of this dire situation leaves me wondering, “Is our criminal justice system truly serving society’s needs?”

Watch by Appointment or Stream on Demand

You’ll find trailers for this and the other AfroPoP 16 films on our website. As always, the series will premiere a new film every Monday through April 22. Meanwhile, our social media channels will feature companion content — including excerpts from our Director’s Roundtable discussion with the Season 16 filmmakers, and behind-the scenes clips from each episode.

AfroPoP has thrived for 16 years because its independent filmmakers tell compelling stories that inform and entertain. Stories that keep people like you returning year after year to watch and share. We look forward to having you join us again this year. If you are an AfroPoP fan who has not yet subscribed to our new AfroPoP Connection newsletter, click the link to sign up. The weekly publication debuts on March 28, and will publish every Thursday thereafter through the month of April.

Also, please note that Sun., March 31, is the last day to stream all the Season 15 AfroPoP titles for free. Binge them over the festive Easter weekend in preparation for Season 16.

Finally, I encourage you to register to attend the PitchBLACK Forum and PitchBLACK Awards. Tickets are going quickly. You won’t want to be left out.

Have a great rest of the week!

— Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media



Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about the African American and global Black experience.