Directors: Melissa Haizlip, Samuel D. Pollard

  • COUNTRY : United States


Broadcast between 1968 and 1973, America got SOUL! Was the first all-black entertainment show on American television. Part nightclub, part salon, SOUL! offered compelling live performances from up-and-coming soul, jazz, and world musicians, as well as with in-depth interviews featuring actors, literary figures, prominent politicians and intellectuals. Haizlip championed early acts such as Ashford and Simpson, Roberta Flack, Al Green, Billy Taylor, Bill Withers and Patti LaBelle, pairing them alongside established figures such as Toni Morrison, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Jesse Jackson. Far more than a mere variety show, SOUL! marked the emergence of undiluted black culture and entertainment on television and the advent of 20th-century black pop music. This film celebrates the groundbreaking series, while profiling Ellis Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful television shows in US history. Produced by Melissa Haizlip and Sam Pollard, the film offers a behind-the-scenes look at this revolutionary program, from its initial conception to its final broadcast, including the very public battle to keep it on the air despite a shifting political landscape.

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