ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



African Films on DVD



African Film on DVD

Black Girl / Borom Sarret Sugar Cane Alley Kirikou and the Sorceress Lumumba  

 Amandla: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony /  Cry, The Beloved Country   /  The Power of One 

 Bopha / Mandela and deKlerk / Cry Freedom  / Hotel Rwanda / Sarafina / Yesterday

Tsotsi  / Hyenas Mandabi  / Xala Madame Brouette  / Yeelen / Life on Earth / Karmen Gei 

 Guimba The Tyrant / Daresalam  / Abouna

Heart of Darkness: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (ABC News Nightline)

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Black Girl / Borom Sarret

Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) is a stranger in a strange land. In Dakar, she was a nanny–a job she found fulfilling–but is forced to leave when her employers, Madame (Anne-Marie Jelinek) and Monsieur (Robert Fontaine), relocate to Antibes. The Riviera is lovely, but she is demoted to maid and regularly reminded of her exotic origins–treated as an object and exploited for her “Africanness.” Proud and impassive, Diouana rarely speaks, but a running monologue reveals her growing disillusionment. “The kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room. That’s all I do. That’s not what I came to France for!”

So Diouana revolts the only way she knows how and stops doing everything for which she was taken from Senegal–cooking, cleaning, etc. Based on his short story, in turn inspired by actual events, Black Girl was the first feature from Ousmane Sembène (Faat Kiné), the premier filmmaker of Sub-Saharan Africa. Though shot in a crude new wave style, the 60-minute film (also released in a 70-minute edition), effectively delineates the life of an unseen individual with no means of solace or escape. Interestingly, all parts were dubbed by other actors, contributing to the sense of alienation–even between Madame and Monsieur, who were also happier in Dakar. Black Girl (La Noire de…) is accompanied by Sembène’s 1963 debut, Borom Sarret. The 20-minute short offers an insightful look at a day in the life of a Dakar-based horse-cart driver (Ly Abdoulaye) or borom sarrett (from the French bonhomme charret).

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Sugar Cane Alley

Touching without being sentimental, political without being preachy, this story set in 1930s Martinique is both lyrical and powerful. Writer-director Euzhan Palcy tells the story of a young boy who is orphaned at the age of 11 and sent to live with his grandmother, who works on one of the island’s sugar cane plantations. Though he is bright, she realizes he has no future if he stays on the plantation. So she does what she can to keep him in school and away from the back-breaking, will-sapping hard labor to which she’s devoted her life. Can he rise above his humble beginnings? Will he forget about his self-sacrificing grandmother and leave her behind? Palcy deals with these issues with great emotion but no false sentimentality in this poignant film. In French with English subtitles.

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Kirikou and the Sorceress

This animated film exquisitely recounts the tale of tiny Kirikou — a clever, courageous little boy born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse — as he sets out on a quest to free his village of the curse and find out the secret of why Karaba is so wicked. Kirikou depicts a precocious newborn infant who battles ignorance, and so-called evil, with endearing perseverance. This film speaks to the child within us all who yearns to express and defend the best in others and ourselves. Kirikou’s stunning visuals are accented by a traditional music soundtrack by African music giant Youssou N’ Dour.

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Raoul Peck tells the story of the African freedom fighter Patrice Lumumba with fire and grace. The opening scene sets the vérité tone with the sound of a saw cutting through bone; two Belgian soldiers are breaking down Lumumba’s body and incinerating it in a ten-gallon drum. From there, the film backtracks to the origins of the Congolese independence movement and proceeds to explain how a man’s legacy could be considered so threatening. Peck handles all of this, including the atrocities, with refinement, and lets the drama of Lumumba’s story run smoothly, free of heavy historical detail.

Eriq Ebouaney is extraordinary in the lead role, the production feels emotionally true, and the speeches generate spontaneous applause. Only the ending comes off as too hopeful, as we know that with Lumumba’s death, the regime of Mobuto began. In French and Lingala.  

Made in the tradition of such true-life political thrillers as MALCOLM X and JFK, Raoul Peck’s award-winning LUMUMBA is a gripping epic that dramatizes for the first time the rise and fall of legendary African leader Patrice Lumumba. When the Congo declared its independence from Belgium in 1960, the 36-year-old, self-educated Lumumba became the first Prime Minister of the newly independent state. Called “the politico of the bush” by journalists of the day, he became a lightning rod of Cold War politics as his vision of a united Africa gained him powerful enemies in Belgium and the U.S. Lumumba would last just months in office before being brutally assassinated.

Strikingly photographed in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Belgium as civil war once again raged in the Congo, the film vividly re-creates the shocking events behind the birth of the country that became Zaire during the reign of Lumumba’s former friend and eventual nemesis, Joseph Mobutu. This version features the film with its original French dialogue and English subtitles.

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Amandla: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony

The stunning documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony tells the story of protest music in South Africa–but as it does so, it tells the story of the struggle against apartheid itself, for the music and the revolution are inseparable. Through archival footage and interviews with musicians, freedom fighters, and even members of the former government police, Amandla! creates a vivid and powerful portrait of how music was crucial not only to communicating a political message beyond words, but also to the resistance itself–how songs bonded communities, buoyed resistance in the face of bullets and tear gas, and sowed fear in the ruling elite. Part history, part musical exploration, part sheer force of life, Amandla! captures both the sorrow and the triumph of life in South Africa from the 1950s to 1990, when Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress came into power.  Amandla! tells the story of black South African freedom music and the central role it played against apartheid. The first film to specifically consider the music that sustained a galvanized black South Africans for more than 40 years, Amandla!’s focus is on the struggle’s spiritual dimension, as articulated and embodied in song. Named for the Xhosa word for “power”, Amandla! lives up to its title, telling an uplifting story of human courage, resolve and triumph.

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Cry, The Beloved Country

This moving 1995 adaptation of Alan Paton’s celebrated novel stars James Earl Jones as a beloved, rural minister in South Africa who makes his first trip to Johannesburg in search of his son. The latter’s destiny has been linked with that of a doomed, young white man, whose racist father (Richard Harris) is approached by Jones’s character in the spirit of mutual understanding. Directed by Darrell James Roodt (Sarafina!), the film is most powerful in those scenes featuring Harris and Jones together, though early sequences grounded in the hard life and times of Jones’s community are colorful and dramatic. It’s impossible not to be touched by the cautious but real connection made between the principal characters and by the moral authenticity of the actors. –Tom Keogh Product Description Powerful and uplifting, CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY was widely hailed as one of the best films of the year! In a land torn by hatred and injustice, James Earl Jones (CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER) and Richard Harris (GLADIATOR, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO) are two fathers — one a man of peace, the other a man of power and privelege — whose lives seem destined for a violent collision. But instead, in the wake of a tragic killing, these extraordinary men form an unlikely union … and together find the kind of understanding that could heal a nation! Based on the acclaimed novel, this electrifying motion picture will both entertain and inspire you!

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The Power of One The Power of One is an intriguing story of a young English boy named P.K. and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. “Doc”), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops P.K.’s piano talent and P.K. becomes “assistant gardener” in Doc’s cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. P.K. makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box.

Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. P.K. is cast in the light of this myth. After the war P.K. attends an English private school where he continues to box. He meets a young girl, Maria, with whom he falls in love. Her father, Professor Daniel Marais, is a leader of the Nationalist Party of South Africa. The two fight to teach the natives English as P.K.’s popularity grows via the myth. Maria is killed. P.K. looses focus until he sees the success of his language school among the tribes. He and Guideon Duma continue the work in hopes of building a better future for Africa.

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Hotel Rwanda

Solidly built around a subtle yet commanding performance by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda emerged as one of the most highly-praised dramas of 2004. In a role that demands his quietly riveting presence in nearly every scene, Cheadle plays real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in the Rwandan capital of Kigali who in 1994 saved 1,200 Rwandan “guests” from certain death during the genocidal clash between tribal Hutus, who slaughtered a million victims, and the horrified Tutsis, who found safe haven or died. Giving his best performance since his breakthrough role in Devil in a Blue Dress, Cheadle plays Rusesabagina as he really was during the ensuing chaos: “an expert in situational ethics” (as described by critic Roger Ebert), doing what he morally had to do, at great risk and potential sacrifice, with an understanding that wartime negotiations are largely a game of subterfuge, cooperation, and clever bribery. Aided by a United Nations official (Nick Nolte), he worked a saintly miracle, and director Terry George (Some Mother’s Son) brings formidable social conscience to bear on a true story you won’t soon forget. –Jeff Shannon Once you find out what happened in Rwanda, you’ll never forget. Oscar nominee* Don Cheadle (Traffic) gives “the performance of his career in this extraordinarily powerful” (The Hollywood Reporter) and moving true story of one man’s brave stance against savagery during the 1994 Rwandan conflict. Sophie Okonedo (Dirty Pretty Things) co-stars as the loving wife who challenges a good man to become a great man. As his country descends into madness, five-star-hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Cheadle) sets out to save his family. But when he sees that theworld will not intervene in the massacre of minority Tutsis, he finds the courage to open his hotelto more than 1,200 refugees. Now, with a rabid militia at the gates, he must use his well-honed grace, flattery and cunning to protect his guests from certain death. *2004: Actor, Hotel Rwanda

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Cry Freedom

Sir Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) directs this semi-successful drama about the relationship between South African black activist Steven Biko and a sympathetic newspaper editor (Kevin Kline). Attenborough’s typical sweep of the life and times of Biko is particularly rewarding in the first half of the film, but once the leader comes to his untimely end at the hands of white police, the story shifts entirely to Kline’s character and the latter’s efforts to escape the country with his family. That change is a tactical error in the script that robs the film of its initial power and makes the arguably unfortunate choice of emphasizing the destiny of a white character when Biko himself deserved an entire feature for his story and causes.

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Mandela and deKlerk

Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine both received Emmy nominations for their performances in this made-for-TV movie. The plot follows Nelson Mandela’s 27-year struggle to end apartheid. That segregation was abolished without bloodshed also had much to do with the political maneuverings of South African President F.W. de Klerk, played with convincing and tired resolution by Caine. Poitier plays the more powerful personality, and shines as the self-assured leader. Filmed in Cape Town, this extremely talky and sometimes static film is intriguing as a historical study. As a drama, it is a bit dry. –Rochelle O’Gorman Mandela & De Klerk was filmed in South Africa. Most of the locations are those where the actual events took place, and the dramatized sequences are augmented with newsreel footage to ensure the most accurate portrayal possible of recent historical events.

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In his directorial debut, actor Morgan Freeman cast a knowing eye on the ways the racist apartheid movement in South Africa–now demolished–divided South African blacks even from each other in this story of a black policeman. Danny Glover plays the cop, who believes he’s trying to help his people, even while serving as a pawn of the racist government. When his son gets involved in the antiapartheid movement, he finds himself torn between his family (including long-suffering wife Alfre Woodard) and what he believes is his duty. A sorrowful, anger-tinged film featuring a complex performance by the marvelous Glover, who seems to come apart at the seams before your very eyes.

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Academy Award(R)-winning star Whoopi Goldberg (Best Supporting Actress — GHOST) lights up the screen in her latest hit — the exhilarating and entertaining SARAFINA! In a world where truth is forbidden, an inspiring teacher (Whoopi Goldberg) dares to instill in her students lessons not found in schoolbooks. In doing so, she challenges their freedom and hers. Applauded by critics and audiences everywhere, this upbeat and powerful story promises to stir your emotions and make your spirits soar!

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As beautiful as it is heartbreaking, the Oscar®-nominated drama Yesterday brings an intimate human perspective to the AIDS crisis in Africa. On the surface, it’s a harsh and devastating story about bad things happening to good people, but such a limited description robs the film of its warmth and tender compassion. Best known for his 1995 drama Cry the Beloved Country, director Darrell James Roodt returns to his native South Africa for this moving and heartfelt portrait of a young, devoted mother named Yesterday (played by Leleti Khumalo, from Hotel Rwanda) who learns that she is HIV positive, and remains determined to stay alive until her young daughter Beauty (Lihle Mvelase) is old enough to go off to school. Her husband (Kenneth Khambula) is also stricken with AIDS, and Yesterday cares for him even as they are ostracized by fearful neighbors in their tiny Zulu village.

One might expect a film about AIDS to be terribly depressing, and Roodt pulls no punches when conveying the emotional anguish of Yesterday’s dilemma. But Yesterday is so visually beautiful in terms of its physical and spiritual landscape (it was filmed in the expansive KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa) that it’s universally appealing, and the score by Madale Kunene adds just the right emotional seasoning to the film’s ethnic roots. Anyone with a beating heart can relate to Yesterday’s plight as a caring wife and mother, and Khumalo’s performance is so lovely that she lights up the screen, even (and perhaps especially) during Yesterday’s darkest hours. Without pounding on its point, Yesterday puts a human face on a global crisis that’s too often viewed on impersonal terms. After falling ill, Yesterday (Khumalo) learns that she is HIV positive. With her husband in denial and young daughter to tend to, Yesterday’s one goal is to live long enough to see her child go to school. Set against the awesome, harsh landscapes of South Africa, Yesterday is an eloquent, unsentimental film that quietly builds an overwhelming emotional force.

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In Gavin Hood’s South African drama (an Oscar nominee for best foreign film), the nonactor Presley Chweneyagae plays Tsotsi, a hooded, toughened gang leader in a Johannesburg shantytown who kills for money and beats his friend for challenging his dignity. When Tsotsi shoots a woman for her car and finds that he has unwittingly absconded with her baby, he is struck with a dilemma: what to do with the baby? This would be interesting if Tsotsi’s choice were not immediately clear. In a film depicting a seemingly lawless society, where women are decent and men are helpless or derelict without them, Tsotsi’s painful attempts to care for an infant seem not revelatory but calculated. Curiously styled, with rap-video camera moves giving way to sensitive closeups, this reductive story of redemption milks the sentimentality, rather than the profundity, born of an extreme change of heart. In Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans. The New Yorker Captivating audiences worldwide, this compelling story of crime and redemption has earned countless awards around the globe. On the edges of Johannesburg, Tsotsi’s life has no meaning beyond survival. One night, in desperation, Tsotsi steals a woman’s car. But as he is driving off, he makes a shocking discovery in the backseat. In one moment his life takes a sharp turn and leads him down an unexpected path to redemption … giving him hope for a future he never could have imagined. TSOTSI is an extraordinary portrait of the choices that are made in life and how compassion can endure in the human heart. From Miramax Films, the studio that brings you the best in world cinema (CITY OF GOD, AMÉLIE, THE CHORUS).

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Like many men in late-1960s Dakar, Ibrahima Dieng (Makhouredia Gueye) has been without a job for years. With nine mouths to feed–two wives and seven children–he could use a break. One day, he receives a letter from his nephew Abdou in Paris. Enclosed is a mandabi, or money order, for 25,000 francs. The funds are to be divided between several family members. Trying to cash it, however, quickly becomes a comedy of errors. First, Dieng needs to secure an identity card, then a birth certificate, and so forth (the fact that he can’t read certainly doesn’t help). Meanwhile, word has been spreading about his good fortune and everyone wants a piece. Ousmane Sembene’s follow-up to Black Girl–and first in the Wolof dialect–uses humor to depict the plight of a proud and simple man caught between two worlds, an ineffectual colonial past and a corrupt bureaucratic present. Sembene’s second feature unlocked for the first time the complex daily world of modern Africa. This story of a man who receives a money order and, in his attempts to cash it, encounters an intimidating barrage of Third World bureaucracy, becomes a witty, masterful portrait of an ancient civilization in the throes of change.

Receiving the dubious windfall at first seems a blessing to Ibrahima Dieng, who lives with his two wives and their seven children. However, as the tale unfolds, the seemingly easy transaction threatens to destroy the traditional fabric of his life. Quickly, the whole neighborhood becomes aware of it, the wives buy provisions on credit, their parents ask for a share and people try to extort him for money – all the while, his attempts to cash the piece of paper turn futile.

MANDABI is a warm, subtle comedy with a series of visual revelations about a civilization struggling to recapture its own rich heritage after a century of colonial corruption.

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A once-prosperous Senegalese village has been falling further into poverty year by year until the village’s elders are reduced to selling town possessions to pay debts. Lingure, a former resident and local beauty, now very rich, returns to this, the village of her birth. The elders hope that she will be a benefactor to the village. To encourage her generosity, they appoint a local grocer, Dramaan, as mayor–who once courted her and will now try to persuade her to help. In fact, Lingure has returned with the intention of sharing her millions with the village but only in return for an unexpected action. This plot twist brings human folly and cynicism into sharp focus.

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Wealthy businessman and community leader El Hadji (Thierno Leye) has been known to take a bribe on occasion. He has two wives and has just taken a (much younger) third, when he succumbs to a xala, or curse, and is unable to consummate the marriage. In his search for a cure, Hadji first loses his standing, then his fortune. Even his wives start to abandon him. He has become impotent in every sense of the word. Based on his novel of the same name, Ousmane Sembene’s fourth film is unsparing in its critique of Senegalese men, like Hadji, who claim to be enemies of colonialism and defenders of “Africanity,” yet insist on speaking French, consume only imported goods, and view the less fortunate as “human rubbish.” As with Luis Buñuel before him, Sembene (Moolaadé) finds the “charm of the bourgeoisie” to be very “discreet” indeed in this devastating dark comedy. –Kathleen C. Fennessy This savagely funny satire portrays El Hadji, a prosperous, self-satisfied, politically crooked modern businessman who is struck down by the xala (pronounced “ha-la”) – a curse rendering its victim impotent. While he chases after witch doctors and soothsayers on a frantic, often hilarious search for a cure, his impotence becomes a mirror of the powerlessness of young African nations over dependent on white technology.

Unable to consummate his third (polygamous) marriage, and neglecting his business affairs and political activities as he seeks a cure, his social stature is stripped away, leaving him shamed and humiliated. And while humorous, there is a sympathy in his downfall at the hands of others who are even more corrupt than he is.

XALA is a moving and comical look at a man caught up in the corruption of his country and the tribulations of a changing society.

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Yeelen (meaning ‘brightness’) is a mythic tale from Africa dealing with the spiritual forces of good and evil, darkness and light, as embodied in the form of a father and son. Nianankoro is a young sorcerer from a long family line of sorcerers. His estranged, malevolent Father is on his way from a neighboring village to find and kill his son. Nianankoro leaves his home and travels across the stark, arid West African landscape in search of his Uncle, his Father’s twin brother, in the hope that he will be able to help him defeat his Father in magical combat. Yeelen is an excellent movie, but it isn’t a film for everyone. If you’re interested in magic, sorcery and the mystical traditions of other cultures you will find this film absolutely fascinating and informative. If you enjoyed Peter Weir’s: ‘The Last Wave’ you will definitely appreciate Souleymane Cisse’s: ‘Yeelen.’

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Madame Brouette  

Proud and independent Mati, nicknamed Madame Brouette, survives by pushing her produce cart through the pathways of the market in Sandaga. Divorced, shes had her fill of men and wants nothing more to do with them. She shares a dream with her daughter Ndye and her friend Ndaxt, who has also escaped from a violent marriage. They hope to open a small restaurant, a snack bar which will allow them to make a living in dignity. But fate has other ideas and she meets Naago, a charming, smooth-talking policeman with whom Mati falls in love against her better judgment. One fine day at dawn, the Niayes Thiokeert district is awakened to the sound of gunfire.

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Life on Earth

Abderrahmane Sissako, a Mauritanian filmmaker living in France, makes visually poignant and beautiful films about his homeland. The film style is slow moving. This allows you to be slowly drawn into the beauty of this strange world. The review that gave this film 3 stars was because Amazon miscategorized it in science and nature documentaries. If you are looking for a film that displays the strange and often elusive beauty of Africa, I would highly recommend this one or any of Sissako’s other films.

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Karmen Gei

I loved this! The first thing that grabbed my attention was the stunning Amazonian beauty of Karman. The second was the very sexy seduction between she and her beautiful female jailer… The movie had moving music, bold, bright colors, lovely scenery, and an interesting story. Yes, Karman was dangerous – the kind of dangerous you can’t keep away from! She made me want to dance, sing, love, and LIVE!

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Guimba The Tyrant

This Malian film is truly unique. A kind of fairy tale, it’s a period piece that has as its setting a village in something like the 18th century (perhaps), or maybe the 19th. We know it’s one of those two (it could even be the early 20th century) because there are quite a few rifles on display (which are fired also). But exactly when this all happens we just don’t know. But this uncertain time setting adds to the mystique of the film. The title refers to a despot with powers of black magic who has taken over the village of Sitakali, murdered his wife and raised his dwarf son. Now the fairest girl in the village, Kani, is betrothed to the dwarf, Janguine, but instead of the girl he wants the girl’s mother Meya because she has a bigger rump. The characters also include Mambi, Meya’s husband; Siriman, a hunter with magical powers; and the local griot. The tale is introduced and concluded by another griot, presumably in today’s Mali, the storyteller (but there’s no voiceover; the tale unfolds after the introduction). The costumes are terrific, as is the horseplay, and various scenes of the power of black and white magic. There are wrestlers, musicians who play traditional music and dance as they play, girls looking for husbands, village elders, the town drunk, and “knights”–suitors for Kani’s hand, knowing she has no interest in either Guimba or his son. The director has done a great job of capturing not only the essence of the native culture but also creating a resonant piece of cinema with mythic overtones. This is a great addition to your world cinema DVD collection and highly recommended.


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Eight-year-old Amine and fifteen-year-old Tahir’s world is shattered when they awake one morning to find that their father has deserted them and their mother. The brothers leave their poor Chad village and head for the Cameroon border to begin their journey in search of him. Soon after, they are stunned to see what they believe to be an image of their father onscreen at a local movie house. After getting caught for stealing the reel of film, their weary mother sends them away to a Koran school to learn discipline. All the while, Amine and Tahir are determined to escape and continue their search in this devastatingly powerful, magnificently photographed drama from director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. A triumphant follow-up to his international award-winning Bye Bye Africa, the New York Times praises,­”Poignant though it is, [Abouna] is the opposite of depressing. There is too much life in it.”

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Erotic, sophisticated, and distinctive” (L.A. Weekly), this enthralling depiction of a family’s struggle during the final years of French colonialism in Africa takes a profound look at the intricate nature of relationships in a racist society. A story of exclusions, betrayals and agonizing compromises, this “remarkable and quietly devastating” (The Boston Globe) film is truly “extraordinary” (Interview). Curious and observant seven-year-old France spends her days amidst the paradise of her family’s estate. But behind the household’s exterior beauty lies growing hostility brought on by France’s always-traveling father, her bored, frustrated mother and, the noble, intelligent house “boy” who suffers the indignities of his status in silence.

But when a plane makes an emergency landing nearby, bringing a motley collection of characters to the house, the heavenly façade soon begins to unravel. And a shocking explosion of rage, racism, and forbidden passion threatens to tear apart the family forever!

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Marketing Ghana as a Mecca for the African-American Tourist—The Afro-American tourist market constitutes an important niche market. At the moment, the U.S.A is Ghana’s second highest tourist generating market with the U.K being the first. In 2003, some 27,000 tourists arrived in Ghana from the Americas. Approximately 10,000 were African-Americans. Also, about a thousand are living and working in Accra. The African-American tourist market is Ghana’s niche market because it has the greatest growth potential in terms of arrivals and receipts. This is because the African-American tourist of today is more interested in exploring his/her cultural and historical heritage; the very products that Ghana offers. Also, they have a $300 billion spending power and spend 98% of their household income. The total income of this segment of the American population is the largest of all the ethnic groups at $485 and projected to reach $1.01 trillion by 2010. In a 2000 Gallup poll commissioned by the National Summit on Africa, 73% of African-Americans were interested in learning more about Africa.—


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Strange Fruit Lynching Report / Anniversary of a Lynching

  Willie McGhee Lynching  / My Grandfather’s Execution

Dr. Robert Lee Interview / African American dentist in Ghana

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Bob Marley— Exodus

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands The Wailers (19641974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (19741981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement (of which he was a committed member), to a worldwide audience.



Exodus: movement of jah people! oh-oh-oh, yea-eah! Men and people will fight ya down (tell me why!) When ya see jah light. (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!) Let me tell you if youre not wrong; (then, why? ) Everything is all right. So we gonna walk – all right! – through de roads of creation: We the generation (tell me why!) (trod through great tribulation) trod through great tribulation. Exodus, all right! movement of jah people! Oh, yeah! o-oo, yeah! all right! Exodus: movement of jah people! oh, yeah! Yeah-yeah-yeah, well! Uh! open your eyes and look within: Are you satisfied (with the life youre living)? uh! We know where were going, uh! We know where were from. Were leaving babylon, Were going to our father land. 2, 3, 4: exodus: movement of jah people! oh, yeah! (movement of jah people!) send us another brother moses! (movement of jah people!) from across the red sea! (movement of jah people!) send us another brother moses! (movement of jah people!) from across the red sea! Movement of jah people! Exodus, all right! oo-oo-ooh! oo-ooh! Movement of jah people! oh, yeah! Exodus! Exodus! all right! Exodus! now, now, now, now! Exodus! Exodus! oh, yea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-eah! Exodus! Exodus! all right! Exodus! uh-uh-uh-uh! Move! move! move! move! move! move! Open your eyes and look within: Are you satisfied with the life youre living? We know where were going; We know where were from. Were leaving babylon, yall! Were going to our fathers land. Exodus, all right! movement of jah people! Exodus: movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Move! move! move! move! move! move! move! Jah come to break downpression, Rule equality, Wipe away transgression, Set the captives free. Exodus, all right, all right! Movement of jah people! oh, yeah! Exodus: movement of jah people! oh, now, now, now, now! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Move! move! move! move! move! move! uh-uh-uh-uh! Move(ment of jah people)! Move(ment of jah people)! Move(ment of jah people)! Move(ment of jah people)! movement of jah people! Move(ment of jah people)! Move(ment of jah people)! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people! Movement of jah people!


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 Relations Between Africans and African Americans: Misconceptions, Myths and Realities

By  Godfrey Mwakikagile

 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: National Academic Press, 2005) 302 pages

Chapter Four: The Attitude of Africans Towards African Americans

Chapter Six: Misconceptions About Each Other


The Joseph Project: Ghana Reaches Out to the Diaspora

Gateway to West Africa ? by Stacey Barney

Should the African Diaspora have free-visa access to Africa?

For African-Americans In Ghana, the Grass Isn’t Always Greener

African-American Association of Ghana Condemn WSJ

Marketing Ghana As A Mecca For The African-American Tourist

A Rejoinder to The WSJ Article “Tangled Roots”

 Presidents Bill Clinton and Jerry John Rawlings February 24, 1999

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Chiefs in Cape Coast, Ghana  /  Grand Durbar Parade

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Dentist Dr. Robert Lee

Championed African-American Community in Ghana

In the mid-1950s, Dr. Robert Lee, a dentist from South Carolina, moved to Ghana to escape racism in the south. Over the next half century, Lee became a fixture in the African-American community in the West African country. Dr. Lee died on Monday, July 5th at the age of 90. But few here in his home state, or in the States at all, knew of his work. But in Ghana, he made a name for himself. Dr. Robert Lee, trained as a dentist, moved to Accra in the mid-1950s. Over the past half century, Lee became a fixture in the black American ex-patriot community in Ghana. NPR

Host Michel Martin talks to NPR West African correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about his life and legacy. Dr. Robert Lee NPR Interview

Dentist Championed African-American Community In Ghana

Dr Robert Lee passes on


Dr. Robert Lee (right) in 2009 with Kwame Zulu Shabazz

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The State of African Education (April 200)

Attack On Africans Writing Their Own History Part 1 of 7

Dr Asa Hilliard III speaks on the assault of academia on Africans writing and accounting for their own history.

Dr Hilliard is A teacher, psychologist, and historian.

Part 2 of 7  /  Part 3 of 7  / Part 4 of 7  / Part 5 of 7 / Part 6 of 7  /  Part 7 of 7

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Basil Davidson’s  “Africa Series”

 Different But Equal  /  Mastering A Continent  /  Caravans of Gold  / The King and the City / The Bible and The Gun

West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

By Basil Davidson



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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 4 August 2008



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