Baobab Flowers is a personal documentary that blends poetic and observational footage following the journey of two high school teachers: Storm Foreman (Nyanza Bandele), in Philadelphia, United States, and Priscila Dias, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Director, Gabriela Watson Aurazo, immerses herself in a journey to make the connections between communities of the African Diaspora.
Through a female perspective, the documentary intends to address the similarities of black women, the impact of low quality education in the black community and the struggle of black communities to achieve equality in education.
Nyanza and Priscila have a fascinating story! They are not only educators, but single mothers, community leaders and they both practice religion of African roots. In the educational sphere, they discuss with their students about racial and social inequality, the value of embracing their Afro-descendent identity and they also encourage them to pursue their goals as challenging as they can be.
Despite being in two different countries, Nyanza and Priscila show that black communities face similar issues, and, as black women they have bonds that unite them but they also have cultural differences. Ultimately, they are examples of how black women are a source of inspiration despite being at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid.
Why is it that underserved Black and Brown communities have such a gap of educational opportunities? How can we make a school that values and reconnects with our African Ancestry? What is the importance of black women as educators in our communities? These are some of the issues explored in Baobab Flowers.
The inspiration behind the name "Baobab Flowers"
The baobab is one of the tallest trees common in some countries in the African continent, and now it remains a symbol related to a Pan-African sentiment. A legend says that the enslaved Africans had to walk around that tree before crossing the Atlantic to forget their names and culture. The teachers are strong like the Baobab tree; they are source of sustenance, spirituality, fuel, and identity for their communities.