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Posts tagged "Jarreth Merz"

Remember our partners, National Black Programming Consortium’s AfroPoP, the crew who brought you Jarreth Merz’s An African Election? The team is back and bringing a new season—with actor Gabourey Sidibe as the new host! 


Though there may not have been a red carpet or champagne bottles popped, but Racialicious and National Black Programming Consortium’s (NBPC) AfroPoP.TV celebrated the PBS premiere of Jarreth Merz’s An African Election in fine live-tweeting style.

We had a lively interaction with not only WGBH’s Celeste Headlee and the panelists— including director Jarreth Merz, multimedia broadcaster/commentator Derrick Ashong, VivirLatino owner and Univision writer Maegan Ortiz, and commentators Lenny McAllister and Stacy Washington—thanks to our many tweeters, like commentator Scot Nakagawa, the R’s Tami Winfrey Harris, writer Kenyon Farrow, and scholar Dr. Regina Bradley.

Then, the movie started and the comments flowed. 

And we Storified the event for posterity! Check out what folks said during the panel discussion and the movie here.

A bouquet of gratitude to everyone who supported the buzz for last night’s premiere! 

If every four years you go to the polling station and you put a piece of paper in a ballot box and you are not generating sufficient wealth—and you’re not distributing the wealth that is generated equitably, and people still suffer from poverty, ignorance, and disease, [then] democracy is absolutely meaningless.
Journalist Kwesi Pratt, on the what democracy means to Ghanaians without material gains for the voters, from Jarreth Merz’s documentary, An African Election. (via africanelection)
I want people to look at my children and my children not to feel that being African is something to be ashamed of because Africa is always looked at as a basket case. And, more importantly, I want the western world to come and learn from what we have in Africa because I think we have a lot of wonderful things here that are overlooked because we are considered to be poor and backward and unstable and to show that, as a community, we respect, we learn, we grow together.
Hannah Tetteh, NDC spokesperson, speaking on what the Ghana’s 2008 election meant and still means. (via africanelection)
There is a perception of Africa that is very antiquated…that everything that comes out of Africa—apart from its resources—is burdened with failure. I think there are stories that need to be told that are African success stories.

With eighteen days to go before the public-media premiere of Jarreth Merz’s An African Election, the R and National Black Programming Consortium wanted to have a tweetversation about the philosophy that roots Ghana’s politics and has captured the hearts and imaginations of quite a few people in Africa and the African Diaspora: Pan-Africanism

Check out the rest of the conversation we had with Lehigh University’s Director of Africana Studies Dr. James Peterson here!

In preparation for the public-media debut of Jarreth Merz’s An African Election on October 1, 2012, Racialicious and the National Black Programming Consortium held a tweet-up yesterday with Dr. Benjamin Talton, a professor of Ghanaian history and politics at Temple University. He was incredibly gracious—he squeezed this in between classes!—to spend time with us and gave us a quick rundown of Ghana’s politics since 2008 and the lessons the US can learn from the nation. 

Check out the full tweet-up at An African Election blog!

Soundbite Culture: You’ve said An African Election began because of questions you had about your own identity. What were they?

Jarreth Merz: One of them was “Why do I see myself as a cliché?” As an actor, I’d ask why am I cast as a terrorist or something exotic? Why am I not cast as something regular and normal? Is it because I am abnormal? What is it?

There’s a lot of doubt within who I am. We all go through that process. They say when you hit 40 you reach a mid life crisis, but for me I think it was more like an identity crisis. I just realised that I was in denial of my African heritage because of all the bad examples we hear about Africa. Or the clichés; everything is so colourful, you dance so well, you’re very chocolaty.

So this was something that motivated me to go back to where I grew up, which was Ghana. To have a closer look and see where I came from and where I grew up. Why was I happy then and oblivious to all this crap going on about colour or identity, and why had I become so wounded? I had to confront my demons and take a look at that. So I went back to Ghana and I was looking for a new reality.

An African Election's director Jarreth Merz, on how he made the personal into his documentary on the politics around Ghana's 2008 election. The rest of the excerpt is here, and check out the rest of the interview here. 
An African Election challenges the preconceived notion we have about politics in Ghana or Africa without hiding the brutal realities. It shows how important democracy is to the stability and peace in any fragile third world country, actually in any place in the world. America still serves as a role model when it comes to democratic core values, despite the challenges the country has faced in the past, a role Americans must be aware and proud of. It is a great responsibility, which may be a blessing and a curse.

An African Election director Jarreth Merz on what democracy means and the democratic process itself in Ghana, Africa, and the US.  (via africanelection)

Racialicious is thrilled to partner with National Black Programming Consortium (the creative folks bringing Black Folk Don’t and Ask A Muslim to the internet) for this documentary’s public-media debut on October 1, 2012. We’re looking forward to on- and offline convos about the 2008 election in Ghana, democracy, colonialism, policy, and trans-Atlantic implications for the 2012 US election. Join us!