Summer of Soul

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of 6 weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was largely forgotten–until now. Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being; it stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, past and present.  The film includes concert performances by Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.


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Summer of Soul Curriculum Guide

Engage students through music with the Oscar-Winning Documentary film, Summer of Soul.

Lesson 1: Putting the Festival in Context: The History of Harlem (U.S. History)
Lesson 2: The Music of the Harlem Cultural Festival (Music)
Lesson 3: 1969, A Unique Year (U.S. History)
Lesson 4: Spending Priorities (Language Arts, Speech)
Lesson 5: Film and History (Film Literacy)
Lesson 6: Harlem Today (Current Events, Sociology, Economics)

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Journeys in Film supports the Sustainable Development Goals.
This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs:


Dark pink background. 10 in the left-hand corner. Reduced Inequalities beside the number. Central image on the pink background is a not quite complete circle with equal marks inside. Golden yellow background color. 11 in white in the upper left hand corner. Sustainable Cities and Communities next to the number. White icons of various buildings is the center art on the yellow background.

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