POV: Can you give us an update about Rocky and her parents? What has happened in their lives since filming ended?
Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed: Rocky is now a junior at Dickinson College. As a freshman, she planned to major in international studies, but she has since switched her major to women’s and gender studies. Rocky is very active on her campus: She’s the vice president and treasurer of the African American Society, a member of the Third Degree step team, the manager for the UMOJA unity house and a writer for NAKED(truth), a feminist magazine. Rocky is answering YouTube and text questions about her experiences and goals.
Auntie Yaa works at her store at the corner of Mount Eden and Townsend Avenues in the Bronx and recently has been able to bring some of her other relatives to the United States from Ghana. She visits her husband and extended family in Ghana often.
Chief Nii Adjedu I continues to work with other chiefs to develop and manage their traditional areas. Recently, the chief also had the chance to meet another leader with African roots. When President Barack Obama visited Ghana in July, he shook hands with the chief and the two exchanged a few words.
POV: What kind of reactions have you gotten from audience members at screenings of the film?
Brook and Syeed: One of the best audience reactions we had was when the film premiered in New York at Lincoln Center. A group of 25 teenagers came, mostly young women. After the screening, they surrounded Auntie Yaa and asked her question after question, trying to get advice about how to deal with their parents. Auntie Yaa was game, of course, and talked to them about how to resolve arguments they had with their parents over clothes, school and their siblings.
Screening Bronx Princess in the “Little Ghana” neighborhood of the Bronx was very important to us. We wanted families in the community to see the story of their daughters and sons in the film. So we hosted a block party, where we showed the film for free outdoors and arranged live performances by West African musicians, such as the film’s composer, Blitz the Ambassador. The event mixed fun events, such as Rocky autographing posters for young girls and fudge-making inspired by Ghana’s cocoa farming, and more serious events geared to community empowerment, such as a presentation of educational resources for college and beyond. You can see photos and video of the event on our website.
POV: What are you working on now?
Brook and Syeed: Musa is working on a narrative feature about environmental problems in Kashmir. Yoni is researching a new documentary. After A Son’s Sacrifice, set in Queens, and Bronx Princess, he feels inspired to complete a trilogy by making a third film on Staten Island.