Summer of Soul at Ritz Theatre, 7 pm
SUMMER OF SOUL: Universally acclaimed after winning the Grand Jury Award at its Sundance Film Festival premiere, ‘Summer of Soul’ won the 2022 Oscar for Best Documentary. Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the film tells the story of a 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, when some 300,000 cane to celebrate African American musicians and culture, and to promote the new politics of Black Pride
Festival performances included Nina Simone, BB King, Fifth Dimension, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson and the Staple Singers. Yet, in spite of attendance by some 300,000, the `celebration was overshadowed by dominate media coverage of Woodstock that summer. Video footage of the “Black Woodstock” was virtually forgotten. “Questlove” (best known as leader of The Roots, house band of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) was driven to both produce and direct the film upon seeing vintage video footage and realizing the Festival’s historic significance was a keystone in black cultural history.