Julie Dash (b. 1952)
The Diary of an African Nun (1977)
From L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (1971-2006)

YEAR: 1980
FORMAT: 16mm, color, 20 min.

African Woman USA tells the story of an African woman studying dance in the U.S. and working to support a daughter at home, along with two others back in Africa. After receiving a work permit she is ecstatic, but must battle both sexism and racism when looking for a job. Her troubles continue when a man posing as a producer betrays her. The film uses jazz and traditional African music to underscore the themes of friendship and danger that shape an African immigrant’s experience of America. —Trisha Lendo