Note No. 6529
25 September 2019

'Bigger Than Africa' to Highlight Cultural Ties Linking West Africa, Americas, during United Nations Headquarters Screening, 2 October

The impact of West Africa’s Yoruba culture on the New World will be highlighted in a screening and discussion of the film Bigger Than Africa beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 2 October, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Intended to focus on how the Yoruba culture survived suppression during the transatlantic slave trade and became prominent in the New World, the film screening and related discussion were organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications in support of the International Decade for People of African Descent and the Remember Slavery Programme, and in cooperation with the non‑governmental organization Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD).

Opening the event will be Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (Nigeria), President of the seventy‑fourth session of the General Assembly; Melissa Fleming, Under‑Secretary‑General for Global Communications; Kamil Olufowobi, Chief Executive Officer of MIPAD; and Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye, the film’s director.  Following the screening, Mr. Adekeye will engage the audience in a conversation about his film, together with Jacob K. Olupona, Professor of African Religious Traditions and Professor of African and African American Studies at the Harvard Divinity School, and Avery Ammon, Director of Afrika House, an organization in Trinidad and Tobago dedicated to promoting African fashion and books.

The screening will also commemorate the International Day of Non‑Violence, established by the General Assembly to reaffirm the universal relevance of the principle of non‑violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non‑violence.  These principles are also conveyed through the work of the Remember Slavery Programme and the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Established by the General Assembly in 2007 to further remembrance of and learning about the causes, consequences, lessons and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, the Remember Slavery Programme aims to raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today through activities held by the Programme in New York, around the world by the global network of United Nations information centres, and by educational materials produced throughout the year. #rememberslavery

The International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015‑2024, was proclaimed by the General Assembly under the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development”.  In proclaiming the Decade, the international community recognized that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.  Whether as descendants of victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, people of African descent constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups across the globe. #africandescent

In support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, the Most Influential People of African Descent identifies high achievers of African descent from around the world, in both public and private sectors, as a progressive network of relevant actors joining together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, its people on the continent and across its diaspora.

Media Contacts: Julia Hagl, Public Information Officer, Department of Global Communications, tel: +1 212 963 0943, email:; Catharine Smith, Public Information Officer, Department of Global Communications, tel: +1 212 963 3748, email:

For information media. Not an official record.