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‘Soul!’ Brought Black Culture to TV in 1968. A New Doc Tells Its Story. | The New York Times

‘Soul!’ Brought Black Culture to TV in 1968. A New Doc Tells Its Story. | The New York Times

Chester Higgins, SOUL, African American Media, Black Media, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D, Willoughby Avenue, Wriit,

“Mr. Soul!” spotlights Ellis Haizlip, the host of a show that gave Stevie Wonder, Wilson Pickett and James Baldwin a platform.

By Jim Farber, The New York Times

Anyone analyzing the image of African-Americans on the narrow range of TV stations available in the United States 50 years ago could expect to see one of just two stark portrayals. “We were either victims or villains,” said Chester Higgins, a veteran photographer whose portraits of Black America helped widen that perspective. “The media focused on poverty, riots and crime. They chose not to give any presence to the full character of our people.”

That’s the dehumanizing image the show emphatically titled “Soul!” aimed to obliterate. Debuting on New York City’s Public Television station WNET (then WNDT) on Sept. 12, 1968, with Higgins as its chief photographer, “Soul!” presented “the vitality and creativity of Black America in a way no other program ever had,” said Felipe Luciano, the poet, activist and broadcaster who worked on its production team. “‘Soul!’ gave viewers the first genuine sense of the expansiveness of Black culture.”

See Also
Miami Times, Garth Reeves Sr., African American Media, Black Media, African American Press, Black Press, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D, Willoughby Avenue, Wriit,

Featured Image, Alex Harsley
Full article @ The New York Times

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