Leave your Covid-19 blues behind and meet Black Public Media online for an evening of conversation, film, history, and Afrobeat music that will bring you to your feet! We’ll be joined by special guest speaker Carlos Moore, Fela Kuti’s official biographer and close friend. This event is a co-presentation of BPM and Pittsburgh’s PBS station, WQED.
We’re screening two films: My Friend Fela, and The Birth of AfroBeat.
My Friend Fela, by director Joel Zito Araújo, follows Moore as he explores the many unknown aspects of his legendary musician friend’s life. Countering the popular narrative of Fela as the “eccentric African pop idol of the ghetto,” Araújo uses photos, archival interviews, and Moore’s own personal conversations with Fela’s wives, family and bandmates to bring viewers a seldom seen side of the revolutionary artist’s life and music.
The Birth of AfroBeat , by director/producer Opiyo Okeyo and animator Mel Roach, is a live-action/animated short featuring trailblazing Afrobeat percussionist Tony Allen. Okeyo captured the iconic drummer’s story as he recorded the 2017 album What Goes Up with the U.S. band Chicago Afrobeat Project.
Admission is free, but pre-registration is required.
The BPM Watch Party will be hosted on the OVEE network, which will send an audience access code to all who register shortly before the program begins.