What happens when you throw first-generation American women together in the crazy, fickle city of New York to navigate love, relationships and career?
New web series ‘Afrimericans,‘ brainchild of Maureen Martin and Berka Ngong, chronicles four women as they cry, laugh and work their way through the ups and downs of love and career. On top of the already heavy weight of daily life, these women also have the pressure to maintain their cultural heritage and traditions as they climb the ladder to success. As children of African immigrants, the group of girlfriends lean on each other to make their dreams come true in America—just like all of us.
HB spoke to show creators Maureen Martin and Berka Ngong about their inspiration for the sexy, hilarious new project:
What was your inspiration for the series?
Maureen: As an African woman, I know we are warriors and survivors with amazing stories so many of us have been citizens of more than one country, multilingual, with advanced degrees and a narrative that I haven’t seen on TV. We are community leaders, activists and some grace covers of vogue …those stories need to be told.
Berka: For me, it was a need to be a part of the new emerging narrative about a contemporary Africa… Like with a lot of show creators, especially with stuff like this, it comes from experience that is specific but also universal all at once.
Why do you feel it is so necessary for this story to be told?
Berka: Just like with any foreign culture in the US, there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings which we can either learn to laugh at or allow to cause friction. We rarely see stories of how Black people of different cultures/nationalities interact, so from a cultural point of view there’s that drive to be the one telling our own stories… And bringing forth our own ideas and celebrating our cultures from another perspective. It’s seeing these other dimensions to young black women that is rarely seen. They’re worldly, they’re smart, they’re stylish, they’re funny and they’re also vulnerable…the only difference is these ladies are African but their hopes and dreams and ‘issues’ are definitely universal.
What would you like audiences to take away from the series?
Berka: A better understanding.
Maureen: A better understanding. Yes and a curiosity about african people that goes beyond skin tone and hair texture.
In an age of #HollywoodSoWhite, it’s important for women, especially women of color, to see their stories reflected in media. And we believe #Afrimericans will help fill that void.
Watch the four women ride the wave of tumultuous millennial life in the trailer below:
Will you be watching?
Follow the drama on Facebook/Instagram: @AfriMericans