A new documentary is out that spotlights a famous 1969 music festival with famous artists and hundreds of thousands of fans – but it’s likely not the festival you have in mind.
The film, Summer of Soul, tells the story of the Harlem Cultural Festival, which spanned six weekends in 1969 in New York City and attracted some of the nation’s top musicians, including Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. An estimated 300,000 people attended.
It was a landmark music event but was overshadowed by Woodstock, which was held the same summer about 100 miles away.
Dubbed by some as the “Black Woodstock,” the Harlem Cultural Festival celebrated black culture and music and was held on the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement. Gospel music was featured prominently in the festival.


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