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Directed by Melissa Haizlip, Samuel Pollard

United States 2018 115 min. In English

From 1968 to 1973, PBS broadcast a now-legendary program centered on black life in the US: Soul! Hosted at first by a bevy of personalities but finally settling on producer Ellis Haizlip, the show featured a myriad of incendiary interviews with and performances by the likes of Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Ashford and Simpson, Nikki Giovanni, Al Green and Muhammad Ali, among many others. The history of this groundbreaking TV show, dubbed “the black Tonight Show,” holds a central place in American culture through its highlighting of issues crucial to the black community and bringing much of the best of black music to US households. This vital, engaging documentary brings us a necessary portrait of not only the show, but of the driving force behind it: the quietly revolutionary Haizlip, who became a welcome, familial figure in over 65% of black households at the show’s peak.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Reel Music 36



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.