My documentary pick of the week is The Pan- African Experience. Director of Morehouse Leadership Center, Dr. Walter Earl Fluker and his team took six seniors Morehouse students on a service learning mission to look at the relationship between poverty and HIV/AIDs within Africa. A renaissance man with a social conscience is the theme Dr. Fluker tries to implement into the trip by taking the group of young men to different communities and come out with strategies they can take back to the states and gain a deeper understanding of the issue. The mission starts in Twsane, South Africa where the men went to an orphanage of kids with HIV/AIDS whom parents have banded at young age.
Everyday these men visit different communities and events varying from clinics, radio shows to Nelson Mandela’s cell and NGOs. What stuck out to me the most while watching this film was a comment Founder/Director of Tebogo Trust, Jose Bright said:
“I think it is critical that our children see people that look like them but sound differently and are part of a diaspora of Africans. I also find that it is re-informing when we interact with young people from Morehouse and other parts of the world from other organizations, that our children are not becoming xenophobic when they interact with other people of color. The content is going through dramatic change, if you look at the democracies that have came into the African content over the last 10-15 years, we’ve seen new democracies come in and we’ve seen lost of culture to a certain degree and our children are starting to assimilate to a western pyridine. We find it very critical for our children to never lose contact with their identity, culture, and language. And also cope in a modern changing inviorment like this.”
Another reason for the Pan-African Experience is learn the role(s) the African Diaspora plays in creating a better world. Dr. Fluker talks about ‘The American Dilemma’ an Ideological staple of African American existence of who ‘we’ are since the arrival into America. Dr. Fluker also speaks about how African Americans within the diaspora move beyond the struggle and not just look at what it means to be an African American, but how to be a better human. One way a person can do this is by visiting Africa to ask deep rooted questions and figuring out what constitutes good humanity. Now I’m ready to hop on a plane and visit South Africa!
Here is a link to documentary The Pan-African Experience