Not much has changed. That’s what was so bad what we saw about January 6 at the Capitol. On one level, I’m horrified and disgusted, but on the other level, I’m thinking, Damn, our country is still the same. You look at the run-up to the election and listen to the speeches about if you elect Democrats they will come destroy the suburbs and your community. This is insanity. Have we not learned any lessons in America? — Sam Pollard
He did an entire show that was dedicated to Black women. It featured artists, like the dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and poets like Nikki Giovanni, Jackie Earley, Sonia Sanchez, and MariEvans. It was unheard of to have a show dedicated to poets, let alone female poets. CarolynFranklin, the sister of Aretha Franklin, was on the show. People who really know soul music are aware that she was one of the best singers of our time. Of course, rest in peace, Aretha, but she was not on the show, her sister was… [Ellis Haizlip] was an openly gay African American man who saw the struggle and wanted to make sure they had a voice. — Melissa Haizlip
Ellis Haizlip—black, gay, and deeply invested in the African-American liberation and equality movements of the 1960s and ’70s—was the producer and host of the short-lived but seminal public television show Soul!, which aired from 1968 to 1973. Sui generis in its approach and impact, Haizlip’s Soul! gave black voices an unprecedented platform at a crucial time.
Directors Melissa Haizlip and SamPollard have brought the life and work of this catalyst to a new generation with the documentary MR. SOUL!, screening this week at the LA Film Festival in its local premiere.
Included in the film are rare interviews and performances by James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Harry Belafonte, Al Green, SidneyPoitier, Ruby Dee, Odetta, Stokely Carmichael, Merry Clayton, Betty Shabazz, George Faison, Toni Morrison, Patti LaBelle, The Last Poets, and many more.