Gabourey Sidibe steps into a new role this winter as host of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, an innovative documentary series highlighting contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora. Best known for her Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated depiction of “Precious” in the Lee Daniels film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Sidibe also made waves with her hilarious performance in Tower Heist opposite Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. The fifth season of AfroPoP, produced by Black Public Media, will premiere at 7:00pm ET (6:00pm CT, 4:00 p.m. PT) on public television’s WORLD channel, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, continuing on Tuesdays weekly through February 5, 2013. The series will release to public television stations

This season, AfroPoP, which consists of independent films, brings viewers on a journey into human and women’s rights struggles across the world. Co-presented by the Center for Asian American Media, Eliaichi Kimaro’s A Lot Like You (January 22), follows the half-Korean, half-Tanzanian sexual-abuse survi vor and filmmaker as she explores her African roots, and learns about the sexual violence faced by her aunts and other women in the Chagga culture. Dear Mandela (January 29), by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, captures the demonstrations of residents of the Durban shantytowns as they fight for the decent living conditions promised by the post-apartheid government and challenge the African National Congress (ANC). Directors Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw uncover modern-day slavery in refugee camps in Western Sahara in Stolen (February 5), entangling themselves in a high-stakes thriller.

In her role as host, Sidibe frames each episode’s content, adding her personal concerns about the issues portrayed. “This season of AfroPoP helps give voice to those who truly need to be heard,” said the Brooklyn native, whose father hails from Senegal. “I’m happy to help bring these stories to the American public and raise awareness of issues of vital concern to women and men in Africa as well as all who care about human rights.”

“Gabourey’s energetic spirit and connection to the youth culture made her the perfect choice to host the series this season and we are happy to have her as such an integral part of AfroPoP,” said Black Public Media Vice President and Director of Programming Leslie Fields-Cruz and co-executive producer of the series.

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange will premiere on the WORLD Channel. Encore programs will broadcast later Tuesday nights at midnight ET (11 pm CT and 9 pm PT). Select episodes (A Lot Like You and Dear Mandela) will be distributed by American Public Television for broadcast on public television channels in addition to WORLD in February 2013. For more information, check your local listings or visit

To find local airings, visit the AfroPoP page on To find your local WORLD station, visit


Gabourey Sidibe burst onto the scene in 2009 with her stunning portrayal of “Precious” in Lee Daniels film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Her efforts earned her an Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nomination for Best Actress along with an array of other nominations and awards.

Gabourey will next film the fourth season of the Golden Globe nominated Showtime series, The Big C, opposite Laura Linney. She plays the series regular role of “Andrea,” a teenager who has become part of the core family, working alongside Oliver Platt, John Benjamin Hickey and Susan Sarandon.

Gabourey starred in Universal’s action-comedy film Tower Heist opposite Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy for director Brett Ratner. She can soon be seen in the indie drama Yelling to the Sky, which premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival. She will next appear in Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths opposite Woody Harrelson. In 2010, Gabourey had the distinct honor of hosting Saturday Night Live.

More from Around NYC