Photo courtesy of HBO.

HBO Doc 'Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram' Reveals There's Still More Work To Be Done

The film recently had its LA premiere—here are nine things we learned from the screening and discussion with the filmmakers.

The nights of April 14 and April 15, 2014 permanently altered the lives of 276 school girls in the town of Chibok, Nigeria in Borno State. Taken hostage by Boko Haram and held in the depths of Sambisa Forest in Northern Nigeria, the brazen kidnappings ignited a social media firestorm.

Celebrities and public figures, ranging from former First Lady Michelle Obama to Queen Latifah, Usher, Whoopi Goldberg, Mary J. Blige, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Degeneres and more, rallied behind the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls in hopes of securing their speedy release. The Nigerian government, under tremendous international pressure, attempted negotiate with Boko Haram leaders; in the interim months 57 girls managed to escape. Then, in October 2016, the government secured the release of 21 girls. Three years later in May, 2017, Boko Haram released an additional 82 girls. As of today, a total of 103 girls have been released, and just over 100 still remain in captivity.

HBO's documentary Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram delves into their lives post Boko Haram, highlighting the triumphs and the struggles of reintegrating into a society where they, as survivors, are at once celebrated and treated as other. Nigerian-American actress Yvonne Orji recently hosted a screening of Stolen Daughters followed by a panel discussion with producers Karen Edwards and Sasha Achilli—who were one of the few people granted access to the government safehouse in Abuja, where the girls received counseling before going on to attend university.

Below are nine things we learned from the film and panel discussion.

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Photo by Farah Sosa.

Here's What Amplify Africa's Inaugural Afro Ball Looked Like

The awards event was a celebration of excellence and ambition in the African community.

On Saturday, May 19, the Los Angeles Theater Center in downtown LA became a mecca for idealists and dreamers from the African diaspora.

The casual passersby would've been greeted with an effusion of bold prints, intricate headwraps and color coordination—the likes of which had not been seen since their favorite 90s music video (or church, or a wedding for some of us). And though the festivities might have vaguely resembled a film set—as is all too common downtown—this moment wouldn't be rehashed months later in a movie or television show. Attendees were flocking to Amplify Africa's inaugural Afro Ball. With the support of BET International, Buzzfeed, OkayAfrica, the GEANCO Foundation and more, Afro Ball lived up to its name as a "for Africans, by Africans" awards event, celebrating excellence and ambition in our community.

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