Summer of Soul

Summer of Soul (or “…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised”) is a documentary film directed by Questlove that explores the Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts that took place in Harlem during the summer of 1969. The festival was organized by Tony Lawrence and was held in Marcus Garvey Park over the course of six weekends.

The festival featured performances by some of the biggest names in music at the time, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and many others. Despite the fact that the festival was attended by over 300,000 people and was a cultural landmark for the African American community, it was largely ignored by the mainstream media at the time.

The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of the festival, as well as interviews with some of the performers and attendees. It also explores the social and political context of the festival, which took place just months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and during a period of intense social and political upheaval in the United States.

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