1st Edition

Summer of Soul (... Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) A Docalogue

Edited By Jaimie Baron, Kristen Fuhs Copyright 2024
    98 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The fifth title in the Docalogue series, this book examines Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s 2021 documentary, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

    The award-winning film draws on archival footage and interviews to examine the legacy of the Harlem Cultural Festival, a showcase of Black music staged weekly throughout the summer of 1969. The film interrogates this event as a piece of “forgotten” history and prompts critical reflection on why this history was lost while also raising important questions related to archival preservation and cultural memory. Combining five different perspectives, this book acts both as an intensive scholarly treatment and as a pedagogical guide for how to analyze, theorize, and contextualize a documentary. Together, the essays in this book touch upon key topics related to the study of popular music, musical performance, and audiences; the discovery and reuse of archives and archival documents; and Black studies and American cultural history more broadly.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars in multiple areas including but not limited to archival studies, Black studies, cultural studies, documentary studies, historiography, and music studies.

    Introduction: Constituting a Congregation in/through Summer of Soul Jaimie Baron  1. Summer of Soul: The Angel of History Comes to Harlem Catherine Russell  2. The Black Archival Impulse Lauren McLeod Cramer  3. Beyond Black Woodstock: Summer of Soul as Historical Recovery Landon Palmer  4. A Secret History of the Secret History of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival: Summer of Soul, the Staple Singers, and the Rockumentary Genre Anthony Kinik  5. “Music in the Air:” Spirituality and Revival in Summer of Soul Michele Prettyman


    Jaimie Baron teaches film and media at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She is a media scholar and the author of two books of media theory, The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History (2014) and Reuse, Misuse, Abuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era (2020) as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is also the director of the Festival of (In)appropriation, a yearly international festival of short experimental found footage films and videos.

    Kristen Fuhs is Professor of Media Studies at Woodbury University, USA. She writes about documentary film, the American criminal justice system, and contemporary celebrity, and her work has appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies; the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television; and the Journal of Sport & Social Issues.