Summer of Soul, More Than Just Music

The 1969 Summer of Soul movie currently running on hulu is much more than a previously unseen collage of images, narratives and performances by some of soul music greatest icons. It is in so many ways a complex multi-layered indictment of the paucity of progress that black people have made in the US over the last five decades. Just yesterday evening I watched what is presented as news — that being the CBS News with Nora O’Donnell. You might as well been watching the news from 1969, with the predictable focus on crime news in black urban communities juxtaposed by the good-news story of the day; a white man helping poor blacks find their way!

Today is a Re-Run of yesteryear. Same disenfranchised ghettos lamenting the same cries for investment, same cries for justice and social equity. All falling on deaf ears. Don’t want to preemptively ruin the experience for those who have yet to see the film but in so many ways, while I rejoiced to see the likes of BB King, a youthful Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin, and the like, it made me both angry and sad.

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