Saturday, December 4

The forgotten and extraordinary “Black Woodstock” that was “crucial to African-American identity”

  • Colin Patterson
  • BBC, Entertainment Correspondent

Nina Simone

Image source, Mass Distraction Media


Nina Simone was one of the singers who participated in the festival.

Summer 1969: Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon, Woodstock becomes a landmark in the counterculture movement, and Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson and BB King perform for more than 300,000 people at the Harlem Cultural Festival.

Two of these events have graced the covers of 20th century history books ever since. The third has been almost forgotten.

A new and award-winning documentary, The Summer of Soul, sets out to correct what he believes to be a serious cultural error: the fact that what could have been the “Woodstock negro” has been largely ignored for more than half a century.

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