1. Screening of “Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Screening (Marcus Garvey Park) – June 17th from 7:00-10:00 pm

View overlooking Marcus Garvey Park in Central Harlem.
View over Marcus Garvey Park in Central Harlem, Manhattan.

On June 17th from 7-10pm at Marcus Garvey Park there will be a free screening of the film, “Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised” directed by Ahmir Johnson, better known as Questlove in the hip hop group The Roots. This Oscar winning documentary reveals footage presumed lost from the the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, dubbed “Black Woodstock.” Featured were a range of performers including Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, The Fifth Dimension, and many more. The film was awarded an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2022.

The festival took place soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. as an expression of Black solidarity and in homage to the resilience and enduring power of Black culture. This Harlem cultural festival gave space for Black cultural expression; however, the film suggests that the concert series was only allowed to occur by New York City officials in order to prevent riots on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The documentary contains fragments from 40 hours of previously unseen footage captured at the concerts, speaking to the excitement and energy present for this monumental cultural event. The screening will take place in the very same park where the festival occurred.