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Higher Education
UHCL celebrates Black History with West African Film Festival
News Release
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

HOUSTON — As part of Black History Month, the West African Film Festival is presenting three films to raise awareness and appreciation of film related to West Africa on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 6-8:30 p.m. at University of Houston-Clear Lake at Pearland, 1200 Pearland Pkwy. 

 Kevin Johnson, who has earned two master’s degrees from UH-Clear Lake, is among the film festival’s coordinators. He said that the three films will highlight technical aspects of filmmaking from West Africa as well as the topics themselves.

“The films cover a few genres of film,” Johnson said. “All three are short films. Two of the films, ‘New York to Conakry’ and ‘Firmeza’ are about the hip-hop culture. ‘Firmeza’ is in Portuguese with English subtitles and takes place in Cape Verde, an island nation off the northwest coast of Africa.”

The third film, Johnson said, titled “Mirabel,” is a short drama. “It’s about a Nigerian family, their dynamics and struggles and other sensitive family themes,” he said. “’Firmeza’ and ‘Mirabel’ are about 20 minutes in length, and the third film is less than an hour long.”

A question-and-answer session will follow the films. UHCL alumna and 2018 Nigerian Olympic bobsledder Moriam “Seun” Adigun will also be speaking at the event.

“We hope that people will come away with a broader perspective of film in general and appreciate the films,” Johnson said. “These are created by independent filmmakers. The structure and pace of these films are different from what we see in American cinema. The perspective is different, so there is a strong educational component.”

Other Black History Month activities at UHCL include the Black Hair Event, presented in collaboration with the Black Student Association on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Student Services and Classroom Building Student Orgs Room, and Critical Conversation: Diversity without Dominance on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. in room 1.203 of the SSCB, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about heritage months at UHCL, visit


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