'Dear Mandela' and More Must-See AfroPoP Docs

The Root Recommends: The African Diaspora film series' fifth season, hosted by Gabourey Sidibe.

Screengrab from AfroPoP: Behind the Scenes

(The Root) -- For those in need of a documentary fix, new programming is well under way courtesy of Black Public Media. The same people who brought you Ask a Muslim, the docuseries answering frequently answered questions about the misunderstood religion, are presenting AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. The collection of independent films highlights "contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora."

The series, now in its fifth season, is hosted by actress Gabourey Sidibe, best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in the film Precious, a gripping film based on Sapphire's novel Push. She also appeared in Yelling to the Sky opposite Zoë Kravitz.

The first episode aired on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. ET with A Lot Like You, a film about a woman's struggle with her interracial identity. However, viewers can tune in to the World Channel every Tuesday at the same time through Feb. 5, 2013, for other films in the series.

Next up in the series is Dear Mandela, a documentary about three activists' fight against the South African government's efforts to forcefully evict residents from local townships, which premieres on Jan 29. Check out the behind-the-scenes chat with filmmakers Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza below.

Got ideas for The Root Recommends? Send them to recommendations@theroot.com.

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