Groundbreaking platform for African American artistry, political expression and social justice
From Sasha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker blog:
Channel Thirteen recently launched a series called “Broadcasting While Black,” a retrospective of “early black-produced television,” in the words of the press release. As part of this initiative, Thirteen has posted six episodes of the television program “Soul!,” which ran from 1968 to 1973. “Soul!” began as a variety show local to New York and then became a national broadcast with WNET in 1970.
More from the series description on WNET's site:
This entertainment-variety-talk show was not only a vehicle to promote African-American artistry, community and culture, but also a platform for political expression and the fight for social justice. It showcased classic live musical performances from funk, soul, jazz, and world musicians, and had in-depth, extraordinary interviews with political, sports, literary figures and more. It was the first program on WNET to be recorded with the then-new technology of videotape, and most of the shows were recorded in real-time—not live, but unedited.
Episodes of the show that are currently online include performance by Tito Puente, Earth, Wind & Fire, Max Roach, Willie Colon, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The New Yorker is hosting an exclusive clip of an interview and performance by Bill Withers until it is posted on WNET's site.