For six weeks during the summer of 1969, some 300,000 people flocked to Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in New York City for the Harlem Cultural Festival. With its star power and rapt crowds, the musical event rivalled Woodstock, the four-day affair that was held one hundred miles north later that summer. But the Harlem festival, featuring legends like Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone, has largely been forgotten—and its role as a defining American cultural experience long overlooked.
In 2021, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer for the Roots, reintroduced the festival with his debut documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), using footage of the performances that had never been shown. Nominated for a