questlove, harlem cultural festival, woodstock
Questlove, who is a musician, producer, DJ, music director, chef and author is now making his directorial debut with "Black Woodstock," a documentary that will celebrate the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which took place the same summer as Woodstock but did not get even a fraction of the coverage. (Photo credit: Matt Licari/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Questlove to Direct ‘Black Woodstock’ Documentary About the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival

Ahmir Thompson, who goes by the better-known moniker Questlove, will be directing a feature documentary, “Black Woodstock,” about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in 1969, Variety reports.

The Harlem Cultural Festival, dubbed “Black Woodstock” by its attendees, took place in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park the same summer as the famous Woodstock festival, but with a fraction of the mainstream media coverage. It featured performances from the most iconic Black musicians of the day, including Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, the 5th Dimension, David Ruffin, the Staple Singers and Gladys Knight and the Pips. With the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shaking the country just a year before, the Harlem Cultural Festival was aimed at celebrating Black culture, politics and community.

The Harlem Cultural Festival was the place Nina Simone famously recited a poem that asked her audience: “Are you ready to do what is necessary? Are you ready to kill, if necessary? Are you ready to smash white things, to burn buildings, are you ready? Are you ready to build black things?”

Jimi Hendrix, who delivered a fiery performance at Woodstock, was one of just a few Black musicians who played at the festival, which has gone down in history as a defining American cultural moment, while the Harlem Cultural Festival was relegated to relative obscurity. There were more than 300,000 people at the Harlem Cultural Festival, meaning it was nearly as popular as Woodstock, which had 400,000. Videographer Hal Tulchin, who died in 2017, captured 40 hours of footage that has remained largely unseen by the public. Questlove’s documentary will feature these videos.

“The performances are extraordinary,” he said in a statement to Variety. “I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story.”

Questlove, known first the drummer of the hip-hop group The Roots, wears many hats. “Black Woodstock” will be his directorial debut, but aside from being a drummer, he is a producer, DJ, chef, author and the musical director for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He also served as the musical director for artists like Jay-Z.

David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent will produce the film with RadicalMedia as a creative and production partner. Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick, Concordia Studio, Play/Action Pictures and Beth Hubbard will serve as executive producers. Joseph Patel will serve as a producer, Joshua L. Pearson will be the editor and Randall Poster will be the music supervisor. Pearson and RadicalMedia also worked on the 2015 film, “What Happened, Miss Simone?” about Simone’s life and legacy.

Related Story: Opinion: Why Did Ariana Grande Get Paid Twice as Much as Beyoncé To Perform at Coachella?

Latest News

Kaiser Permanente Mental Health App Now Available to Members at No Cost

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org.  myStrength app is part of Kaiser Permanente’s effort to provide valuable tools to support mental and emotional health, particularly during stressful times. As part of its commitment to offer members innovative ways to promote personal health and wellness, particularly during increasing levels of stress and anxiety,…

AT&T Believing in our COVID-19 First Responders

Originally posted on ATT.com AT&T supports first responders, medical personnel, responding to COVID-19 with nourishing meals  Across the country – and around the world – first responders and medical personnel are playing a critical role in helping care for their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. “First responders and medical personnel…

Humana Announces Health Care Provider Initiative to Help Ease Financial and Administrative Stress During Coronavirus Pandemic

Originally posted on Humana.com Leading health and well-being company Humana Inc., announced actions designed to help provide financial and administrative relief for the health care provider community facing unprecedented strain during the coronavirus pandemic. First, Humana is implementing simplified and expedited claims processing, in order to get reimbursement payments to providers…

Georgia Power Invites Georgians to Say ‘Thank You’ to Employees During Thank a Lineman Month

Originally published on southerncompany.com. For the eighth year in a row, Georgia Power and other electric utilities in Georgia are celebrating and thanking utility workers across the state. The daily work done by linemen in Georgia’s communities is always recognized, but their work is especially pronounced during today’s challenges from the escalating COVID-19 pandemic…

Mastercard: Learning @ Home with Girls4Tech™ Connect

Originally published on newsroom.mastercard.com. Mastercard Provides Free Online STEM Lessons to Children, Teachers and Parents Mastercard extended access to its signature STEM curriculum, Girls4Tech™, through a suite of new online, creative educational resources. The program has been designed to help parents and teachers engage and inspire kids, ages 8-12. Through…

ADP Preparedness Toolkit

Originally posted on ADP LinkedIn Find FAQs, checklists, webcasts, and the resources to help you protect and manage your workforce in the ADP Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Employer Preparedness Toolkit: https://bit.ly/2xuM2jW

feinstein, northwell

Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes Teams Up with Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences to Test COVID-19 Treatments

The research arm of Northwell Health (No. 2 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top Hospitals & Health Systems), the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, is partnering with Gilead Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi (No. 31 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top 50 Companies for Diversity) to identify treatments for people hospitalized with moderate to severe…