2018, Melissa Haizlip, USA, 99 min.
"For five years during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history...a soft-spoken intellectual brought his vision of 'black love and black strength and black encouragement' to public television."--Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
"Rich, deeply affecting...an exuberant cinematic celebration of some of the best – and boldest – performances ever seen on television."--David Alm, Forbes
Before Oprah – before Arsenio – there was Mr. SOUL! Ellis Haizlip makes television broadcast history with SOUL!, America's first “Black Tonight Show.”
Right on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, one fearless black pioneer reignited a Harlem Renaissance for a new era, ushering giants and rising stars of Black American culture onto the national television stage. He was hip. He was smart. He was innovative, political and gay. In his personal fight for social equality, this man ensured the revolution would be televised. The man was Ellis Haizlip. The Revolution was SOUL! - an amazing weekly television show that aired on public television from 1968 - 1973, celebrating Black American culture, art, life and community and shared it with the nation via the airwaves. Featuring rare live performances and interviews from the legendary Al Green, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, James Baldwin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Ashford and Simpson, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, Billy Preston, Black Ivory, The Delfonics, Bill Withers, Nikki Giovanni, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets, Wilson Pickett, Odetta, Merry Clayton, Mandrill, Kool and the Gang, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Cleaver, Betty Shabazz, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Mrs. George Jackson, George Faison, Patti Labelle and many more. (Description courtesy of Melissa Haizlip)
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