This documentary project retrieves the liberation legacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in three different locations united by common narratives related to struggles against enslavement and Apartheid. In retracing the connected stories of the AME in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Namibia, the documentary reveals the extraordinary legacy of African Methodism outside the United States and contributes to the excavation of the global circuits that historically bind Africa and the African Diaspora.
The AME Mother Bethel Church was founded by Rev. Richard Allen [shown above] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794, and was the first Protestant church ministered exclusively by former enslaved people. While the roots of the church in the United States have been well researched, the global—or Pan-African—story of the AME has so far received insufficient attention.
As well as providing a seminal academic contribution to the history of the AME church that presents original research, the Allen Report documentary will also serve as an educational tool. The documentary will help raise awareness amongst AME and wider constituencies regarding the relevance of Black liberation theology and its hermeneutics which are still vibrating globally and growing. Additionally, this film will emphasize the contributions of the AME traditional involvement in community education and health services in its multiple geographic sites.
“Noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking new six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premiering Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS and airing six consecutive Tuesdays through November 26, 2013 (check local listings). Written and presented by Professor Gates, the six-hour series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to the present — when America is led by a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race…”
Return to Gorée, directed by Pierre Yves Borgeaud, 2007 (New York: ArtMattan Productions, 2007), DVD.
via official website:
“Retour à Gorée” raconte le périple du chanteur africain Youssou N’Dour sur les traces des esclaves noirs et de la musique qu’ils ont inventée : le jazz. Son défi : rapporter en Afrique un répertoire de jazz et le chanter à Gorée, l’île symbole de la traite négrière, en hommage aux victimes de l’esclavage. Guidé dans sa quête par le pianiste Moncef Genoud, Youssou N’Dour parcourt les Etats-Unis et l’Europe. Accompagnés par des musiciens d’exception, ils croisent de nombreuses personnalités, et créent, au fil des rencontres, des concerts et des discussions sur l’esclavage, une musique qui transcende les cultures.
D’Atlanta à New Orléans, de New York à Dakar en passant par le Luxembourg, les chansons se transforment, s’imprègnent de jazz et de gospel. Mais déjà le jour du retour en Afrique approche et beaucoup reste à faire afin d’être prêt pour le concert final…
The musical road movie, Return to Gorée, tells of African singer Youssou N’Dour’s epic journey following the trail left by slaves and by the jazz music they invented. Youssou N’Dour’s challenge is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire and to sing those tunes in Goree, the island that today symbolizes the slave trade and stands to commemorate its victims. Guided in his mission by the pianist Moncef Genoud, Youssou N’Dour travels across the United States of America and Europe. Accompanied by some of the world’s most exceptional musicians, they meet peoples and well known figures, and create, through concerts, encounters and debates, music which transcends cultural division.
From Atlanta to New Orleans, from New York to Dakar through Luxemburg the songs are transformed, immersed in jazz and gospel. But the day of their return to Africa is fast approaching and much remains to be done to be ready for the final concert…
via official website:
After decades of sold out shows and international recognition, musician Gilberto Gil embarks on a new kind of world tour through the southern hemisphere. From Bahia, he travels to the land of the Aborigines of Australia and the townships of South Africa, ending in the Brazilian Amazon region. With the same passion, Gil continues the work he began as Brazil’s first black Minister of Culture – promoting the power of cultural diversity in a globalized world and sharing his vision for our future: a diverse, interconnected planet filled with hope, exchange… and of course music!
Viramundo was released in France on May 8, 2013.
The website provides information on the film, clips, and links to the soundtrack.Gil discusses the film with French music site QoBuz below (French):
See also: Olivier Barlet | Africultures – Critique | Viramundo, de Pierre-Yves Borgeaud http://bit.ly/ZQTPzw
The Conversation Blog at the Chronicle of Higher Ed hosted a roundtable on Spielberg’s recent release Lincoln:
As viewers flock to see Lincoln, and reviewers rave about Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance, historians are raising different issues: How accurate is the film’s portrayal of emancipation? What does it leave out? The Chronicle Review asked several scholars to weigh in.
“At the center of this multi-faceted initiative is a four-hour, High Definition, two-part documentary television series Executive Produced by Louis Gossett Jr., introduced by Colin Powell and hosted on-camera by Halle Berry. Ten years in the making, the film uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text and military records to document and acknowledge the sacrifices and accomplishments of African-American service men and women since the earliest days of the republic. The story spans the Revolution to the Inauguration of Barack Obama and examines why, despite enormous injustice, these heroic men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy. The project’s goal is to raise public consciousness and shed light on an extraordinary and relatively unexplored aspect of our nation’s history. The central theme of the initiative, the price of liberty, is relevant to all Americans….”