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Questlove Remembers the Black Woodstock


Illustration by João Fazenda, Ahmir (Questlove) Thompson, 2021.


Following the release of the Hulu Original documentary, Summer of Soul, Bruce Handy publishes a feature for the The New Yorker centered around the mastermind of the film, Ahmir (Questlove) Thompson. Summer of Soul looks back at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Although the festival featured iconic musicians, such as Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, and Nina Simone, the event has mostly been forgotten. In addition to the music itself, Thompson sees the film as a chance to speak about how easily and often Black culture and history is erased from our nation's narrative.


“The music speaks for itself. But underlying the footage, Thompson said, he saw a chance to tell “the story of Black erasure”—the way that African-American art is often marginalized or discarded." - Bruce Handy
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