The Harlem Cultural Music Festival in the film, Summer of Soul was produced by Questlove and showed how much culture black people really had. There was a sense of a spiritual awakening within African Americans providing a cultural unifying community. The artists who participated were the cream of the crop. Summer of Soul documents a unifying moment for black audiences. This film highlights the amazing artists from this era while also shedding light on the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement due to injustices brought upon the African American community. Essentially, Summer of Soul illustrates a community of people coming together to enjoy each other and their culture. The purpose of this concert was to promote unity and justice during a hard time in America.
Concert in Concept
Social- The concert itself was fun, upbeat, and live atmosphere. It was like a big party fthat including lots of music, dancing, and singing. People would go out to sell clothes, food, and jewelry.
Religion- As far as religion, gospel music player a big part at this point in time. Black gospel music is portrayed as an expression of happiness in fiat hand uplifting. Questlove, the director, described the genre of gospel music as a channel or form of therapy for many black families as they were going through this hard time
Musical- Many influential artists came to perform and participate in this event. People like Stevie Wonder, B.B King, David Ruffin, the Chambers Brothers, Edwin Hawkins Singers, Gladys Knight, the 5th Dimension, and many more! At the time B.B King was the world's greatest blues singer. The Chambers Brothers had energy that was though the roof, and artists like Stevie Wonder swept the crowd off their feet. Musically, the concert was held to celebrate black music because at the time all types of music was not accepted
Cultural- Summer of Soul was a deeply moving cultural event that allowed black people to fully express themselves as they are and the black culture without having to feel ashamed by the world around them. Harlem was a safe atmosphere for the black community. They were able to have more fun and enjoy themselves
Socioeconomic- During this time black people were going through a rough patch of systematic abuse and many black families were losing their jobs and money due to the war. So, the Summer of Soul was like a getaway for many black people during this time. It was a space to let go and enjoy the culture
Stevie Wonder- Stevie was only 19 when he took the stage at Summer of Soul and to me gave one of the best performances. He was live and his songs had the crowd jumping on their feet.
Gladys Knight and the Pips- They performed "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and that song is personally one of my old school favorites. I feel like their performance was very enjoyable and fun to listen to.
B.B KIng- The blues legend himself performed the hardest. The crows went crazy for him. He introduced a sophisticated style of music to the black community that everybody loved.
My overall impression of the concert was amazing. It brought a feeling of excitement. It was beautiful to see a whole community of 300,000 black people come out to celebrate what it means to be black and emphasize the culture though music. The festival provided an opportunity for people to come together and have fun with each other and not worry about the problems many black people were going though at the time. This concert showed that music served a big purpose in hard times for the black community.