Philly native, Questlove, (born Ahmir Khalib Thompson,) did us all a favor by stepping outside of his comfort zone! Questlove is known as a musician, song writer, DJ and the incredible drummer for The Roots band. Let’s all put some respect on his career as he debuts his first film. Questlove chose to step outside his comfort zone to direct and televise a historical moment that needed to be shared.
The documentary is titled Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised.) The documentary is a combination of interviews and footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Described as the “Black Woodstock,” the festival occurred for 6 Sundays from June 29 to Aug. 24, 1969, in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. Questlove took on the challenge of editing 40 hours of footage that was captured during that time. The documentary features performances from artists such as, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, and more.
Rev. Al Sharpton described that time is history as, “A Black Power Movement, where the Negro died and Black was born.” It’s a moment in history that everyone needs to see! Questlove opened up in an interview about what directing the film taught him, he said, “More than anything, it helped me really come to grips with what my role and my purpose in life is, as an educator. And it really helped me in the confidence department. Now I’m ready to take on the world.”
Producer of the film, Joseph Patel, gave a powerful statement to USA Today, he said,
“There’s a reason why Woodstock was well-known and this festival was not, and that says something about this country. Hopefully this film is one step in helping to rectify that.”
Questlove was very active on social media today making several announcements about his documentary that drops in theaters tomorrow. “Go see Summer of Soul, it’s a Questlove jawn in theaters and on Hulu, July 2nd,” Questlove says in an advertisement on Instagram after explaining what the word jawn means to him.
Be sure to be a part of history as the Revolution is Televised and go see this Questlove Jawn!