’Tis the Season for ‘AfroPoP’ and PitchBLACK
by Leslie Fields-Cruz
A few years ago, I began thinking perhaps that our signature television series, AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange had run its course. I thought maybe BPM should consider retiring the show. Thankfully, my colleagues (and the series’ robust performance) convinced me otherwise.
This month, the 14th season of AfroPoP premieres on World Channel and PBS digital platforms featuring five films from different parts of the Motherland and across the African diaspora. Though the stories these films document are vastly different, they all illustrate how the creative spirit that resides in all humans strengthens and emboldens Black people in our ongoing struggles to free ourselves from oppression, gain acknowledgment for our contributions, and celebrate our extraordinary resilience. I hope you enjoy the season and urge you to invite your friends and family to watch as well.
If you’ve never been to PitchBLACK, 2022 is the year you should highlight it on your calendar. The program is shaping up to be the best ever! We are hosting the three-day event on our brand new virtual event facility, which I can’t wait to unveil. Our emcee is The Daily Show’s quick witted CJ Hunt, whose new documentary Neutral Ground has met critical acclaim. Our PitchBLACK Forum features two days of pitching with projects in both documentary film and XR media. And during the PitchBLACK Awards ceremony, we’ll have the honor of presenting esteemed documentary filmmaker and mentor Orlando Bagwell with our BPM Trailblazer Award.
The festivities are capped by a celebratory mixer at our online party site where guests will have a chance to mingle with the award winners, chat with those who pitched at the Forum, and socialize with friends and colleagues.
Details about how to register for these events are included in this month’s newsletter and on our website. I hope to see you there. After a long winter of Omicron, the war in Ukraine, and the usual drama foul weather brings, I’m ready to fully embrace the promise of spring.
— Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media