Angélique Kidjo, Bill T. Jones & Thelonius Monk Documentaries Are Scheduled For Season 15 Of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange


Documentaries about African singer Angélique Kidjo, choreographer Bill T. Jones and jazz musician Thelonious Monk are scheduled for season 15 of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.  The new season is different from previous ones because it focuses on one theme by singling out Black art for the first time. The WORLD Channel has been the home and co-producer of the show with Black Public Media since  2010. Leslie Fields-Cruz, BPM executive director and AfroPoP executive producer had this to say about their 15th anniversary: 

“When we created AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange it was our hope that we would be able to bring stories of modern Black life to public media audiences and help augment viewers’ ideas of what Black life is and can be. Witnessing the series reach its 15th season, a landmark that is the result of the work and drive of so many people over the years, is an awe-inspiring and humbling moment that  fills me with great gratitude.”

The premiere of Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man In The Waters will stream exclusively on Black Public Media’s YouTube Channel at midnight ET on Monday, April 3rd. The film will screen later on that day at 8 PM ET on WORLD Channel. The feature looks at the ballet D-Man In The Waters originally presented in 1989 by Jones and his late partner Arnie Zane. The ballet was created in response to the A.I.D.S. crisis at the time and its impact on their dance company and friends. 

Claire Duguet’s Queen Kidjo will screen on April 10th. The film follows Kidjo’s beginnings in Benin and her rise to legendary status. Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts is a portrait of the painter Bill Traylor who was born a slave and started painting scenes of his life on a plantation and the changing urban world at age 85. Jeffrey Wolf’s film about Traylor is scheduled for April 17th. The Sound Of Masks is about a Mapiko dancer from Mozambique. The Mapiko dance is exclusively performed by male members of the Makonde community as a tool of independence to defy the colonizing influence of the Mozambican War Of Independence. Sara CF de Gouveia’s feature about Mapiko is scheduled to be seen on April 24th. Rewind & Play is Alain Gomis’s exhibit of the disrespect jazz pianist and composer Thelonius Monk experienced in 1969 during an appearance on French state television. Rewind & Play will air on May 1st. AfroPoP has been presenting 

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange can also be viewed on WORLD Channel’s YouTube channel and on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app. The program is available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. APT will release the season to public television stations across the country on Monday, May 1. For viewing information, check local listings.