Mama Africa

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Mama Africa

Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Part of the The Black Cinema Series series.




Not Rated

About the Film:

Miriam Makeba was the first Black African musician who won international stardom and whose music was always anchored in her traditional South African roots. Miriam Makeba was forced into exile in 1959. She sang for John F. Kennedy, performed with Harry Belafonte and Nina Simone, was married to Hugh Masekela and also Stokely Carmichael. Her life was tumultuous. She always stood for truth and justice. She fought for the oppressed most importantly for black Africans, as a campaigner against apartheid. She died November 2008 after a concert in Italy. Mika Kaurismäki's documentary, traces fifty years of her music and her performing life. Through rare archive footage of her performances and through interviews with her contemporaries we discover the remarkable journey of Miriam Makeba - Mama Africa.

A panel discussion will follow this screening.

The Panel:

John Carter is originally from Youngstown, Ohio and has been a Rochester resident since 1971. He graduated from Franklin High School and completed Workplace Health & Safety studies at Cornell University SLR (School of Labor Relations).

Carter has traveled extensively in West Africa (Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali) as well as South Africa. In pursuing DNA genealogy and spiritual political awareness, he found a distant cousin by the name of Togbe Akati ll Djidjilevo of the Watchi people of Com'e Benin. The Watchi people also live in Ghana and Togo.

In January of 2019, His majesty Togbe* Akati ll made Carter, Fio* of the Watchi people. In August 2019, Carter was made an Honoray Citizen of Benin in Washington, D.C. at the Benin Embassy.

Fio John Alexander Azombakin Carter, Organizer 1199 SEIU UHWE (Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East)

Key To Terms:

*Fio means "prince"

Rev. Dr. John S. Walker, a native of Columbus, Ohio, obtained his first job at the age of 15 as an usher at a local black movie theater and has worked ever since.

While earning his master’s degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rev. Walker was part of a successful 1969 take-over of the seminary by students whose demands led the divinity school to establish a Black Church Studies Program.

Rev. Walker is retired from the history and political science department at Monroe Community College and is currently on the adjunct faculty in the department of psychology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  He has been pastor since 1989 of Christian Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Henrietta.

Married with children and grandchildren, Rev. Walker was active with the local Anti-Apartheid movement and once met songstress Miriam Makeba.  A lover of music, he for many years had his own local jazz radio show.

Mama Africa Official Trailer - Out Now on DVD