Questlove’s Oscar-winning Summer of Soul Documentary Inspires Harlem Festival of Culture in 2023

By: Jarrod Horton

Staff Writer

Questlove’s Summer of Soul documentary has been a massive success, to say the least. The documentary chronicled the Harlem Cultural Festival which took place in 1969 in New York City’s Marcus Garvey Park. The fest was filmed but the footage was never released until last year’s Summer of Soul documentary came out. Questlove directed the doc that took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, a Grammy for Best Music Film, and Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. Not only has the doc been critically acclaimed, but it also rekindled good memories for some people who attended.

One of those people was Musa Jackson, who attended the festival in 1969 when he was five. Musa was so inspired by seeing the footage from his youth, that he decided to revitalize a new Harlem Cultural Festival. “The original event was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience—one that I will never forget,” Jackson wrote in a press statement. “With this initiative, we want to create something that evokes that same sense of pride in our community that I felt on that special day in 1969. We want to authentically encapsulate the full scope – the energy, the music, the culture. We want people to understand that this Festival is being built by the people who are from, live, and work in this community.”

According to Pitchfork, the new festival is set to take place in 2023.

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