ABSTRACT

Organized by music writer Chris Williams, this panel discussion on Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Academy Award–winning 2021 documentary Summer of Soul ( . . . Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which examines the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, was recorded on Zoom in September 2021 during the COVID-19 lockdown. Williams served as moderator, and panelists included Melissa A. Weber, Fredara Mareva Hadley, Scot Brown, and Tony Bolden. In addition to artists featured in the film, panelists shared views on a wide range of related topics, including the meaning of soul and the musical genre of soul, not to mention Harlem, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement, and more. As such, the discussion served a medicinal, community-oriented function not unlike soul during the pandemic.

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