"Summer of Soul": Rescuing a historic Harlem music festival



A new documentary, featuring rarely-seen footage, captures the magic of a 1969 music festival held at Mount Morris Park in Harlem, attended by 300,000 people. The festival had long been forgotten in the shadow of that other New York music festival, Woodstock. Contributor Hua Hsu talks with “Summer of Soul” director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, bandleader of The Roots, about reviving the legacy of the Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured such stars as Sly and the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder.

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20 comments

  1. and everyone had their clothes on .. after watching WOODSTOCK '99 I thought this was a necessity but low and behold , a festival with good vibes, great music and legendary artists. thank you for this piece of GOLD

  2. I love Questlove's Summer of Soul. My favorite Searchlight Pictures doc.

    I hope Summer of Soul will win an Oscar in 2022.

  3. I never heard abput this event although I heard about Woodstock on numerous occasions. I never saw David Ruffin sing like he did at that event. I play thrree instruments and have an appreciation for a wide range of music. I thank everyone involved that I was able to see this movie.

  4. Although I can appreciate that man for expressing his disdain on what we spent to put men on the Moon, why not bitterly, and more aptly, complain about the total waste of more than fifty thousand American lives and the billions of dollars we spent to fight that stupid war in Vietnam??? His anger was justifiable, but he picked the wrong target.

  5. This is so beautiful, beyond, deep, and needs to be seen and heard! I am Italian-American and NYC is in my blood, this is in my blood! See this movie, honor the depth of the Black community, as they are our brothers and sisters!

  6. I Love Black music and I didn't kown of this great festival with great artists…thank you very much Questlove! for to have revehaled to the world.

  7. They got the time line wrong. Civil Rights Act of 1964 – — get the history right. King was killed in 1969

  8. So fortunate this was filmed! Thanks to Black Live Matter we're finally getting black culture front and center.

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