The Black Woodstock
Back in the summer of '69 artists from the worlds of gospel, jazz, blues, and soul made a pilgrimage to Harlem, the mecca of black culture, to perform at the six day Harlem Cultural Festival. 100,000 black folk crowded the northern end of Central Park in the blistering heat.Emceed by Jesse Jackson, the festival, what some now call "The Black Woodstock" or "Harlem 69", included performances by Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder, Sly & The Family Stone, Nina Simone, and others.
"As I look out at us rejoice today, I was hoping it would be in preparation for the major fight we as a people have on our hands here in this nation. Some of you are laughing because you don't know any better, and others laughing because you are too mean to cry. But you need to know some mean stuff is going down. A lot of you cant read...but you have the mental capacity to read the signs of the times."
"The Soul of Nina Simone," a CD/DVD compilation contains footage from the event. The compilation includes four songs Simone performed during the festival.