African American Studies Program to host “Ota Benga” film screening

Acclaimed documentary to be screened at UAB Hill Student Center on March 9 at 7 p.m.

Written by: Tiffany Westry

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otabengaThe UAB College of Arts and Sciences African American Studies Program will host a screening of the documentary “Ota Benga” on Wednesday, March 9, at the Hill Student Center Alumni Theater at 7 p.m.

Ota Benga was a Congolese man, a Mbuti pygmy. Benga was purchased from African slave traders by an explorer named Samuel Phillips Verner, a businessman hunting Africans for the exposition. He was featured in an exhibit at the Worlds Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904, and in a controversial human zoo exhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo, where he was placed in a cage with monkeys.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Nigerian director ‘Niyi Coker Jr. and French producer Jean Bodon, two longtime friends and former UAB faculty members. The film has been screened around the world and has won numerous awards, including “Best Director of Short Documentary” and “Best Education and Scientific Documentary” at the London International Film Festival in February.

The screening is free and open to the public.

  • March 10