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Sunday 9/16/2018 Show: Mr. SOUL! Documentary – Melissa Haizlip

The next show will air on September 16, 2018 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast puts a spotlight on the film Mr. Soul: Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV and features an interview with film maker and producer Melissa Haizlip.

 

In 1968 they asked him to produce the first “Black Tonight Show.” Ellis Haizlip did that, and more. SOUL! was one of the most controversial, successful, and socially significant TV shows in US history.

He was hip.
He was smart.
He was innovative, political and gay.

In his personal fight for social equality, this man ensured the Revolution would be televised.

The man was Ellis Haizlip. The Revolution was SOUL!

Ellis Haizlip was the host and executive producer of SOUL!, the first “Black Tonight Show.” In 1968, SOUL! was launched as a local, New York broadcast. In 1969 the series rolled out nationwide on PBS, on WNET Channel 13. By 1973, Haizlip had produced over 130 hour-long shows featuring a dazzling array of A-list guests: Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Ashford and Simpson, Nikki Giovanni, Al Green and Muhammad Ali — even a sixteen-year-old Arsenio Hall doing magic tricks.

Mr. SOUL! invites us behind-the-scenes of this groundbreaking phenomenon, from its initial conception to its final broadcast, including the very public battle to keep it on the air despite a shifting political landscape.

Melissa Haizlip is a Yale University-educated award-winning filmmaker. She was Black Public Media’s (formerly National Black Programming Consortium) 2016 Artist in Residence and participated in the 2015 NALIP ARC Diverse Women In Media Residency. She is a Chaz and Roger Ebert Producing Fellow, and an alumnus of Film Independent’s Project: Involve, Firelight Media Documentary Lab, and the PGA Diversity Workshop. She produced You’re Dead to Me (2013) directed by Wu Tsang, about a grieving Chicana mother coming to terms with the loss of her transgender child on Día de los Muertos. The film won Best Short at the 2014 Imagen Awards, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, Everybody’s Beautiful (Geneva), LesGaiCine Madrid, and Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival (Los Angeles).

In 2009, Melissa founded Shoes In The Bed Productions, an independent film production company producing cinematic works of non-fiction with an emphasis on diverse new voices and filmmakers of color. Mr. SOUL!, the company’s first feature-length documentary, has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, ITVS, National Black Programming Consortium, Firelight Media, Awesome Without Borders, support from IFP and Latino Public Broadcasting. She is currently in production on Mr. SOUL!

(Bio adapted from the Mr. SOUL! website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Mr. SOUL! is scheduled to screen at this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival on Friday, September 21 at the AMC Empire Theater 10 and the Reel Sisters of the African Diaspora Film Festival on Saturday, October 6 at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Q&A with Melissa Haizlip at both screenings. Co-Director Sam Pollard will join the Q&A at Reel Sisters.

Web Extras:

PBS’s archive page for SOUL! (the TV show, not the current documentary film) with some of the original 1970s episodes streaming is here.

Watch the trailer for Mr. SOUL!

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.

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Sunday 11/2/2014 Show: Revisiting the Black Arts Movement

SOScover_Amiri
Photo: Amiri Baraka | Joyce Jones
The next show will air on Sunday, November 2, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of Suga’ will continue our discussion on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement with Sonia Sanchez and Drs. John Bracey and James Smethurst of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at a release party for their new book on the Black Arts Movement, SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader.

Sonia_sanchez_9217Sonia Sanchez, whose been previously featured on Suga’ in My Bowl, while best known for her poetry and central role in the Black Arts Movement, is also a playwright, activist, and educator. In her presentation, Sanchez recalls the origin of Baraka’s decision to come to Harlem and help organize Black artists and discusses the beginning of Black Studies programs. She also speaks about the role of the Black artist and what she expects of herself as a poet. Sanchez also talks about her discovery of the Schomburg library and Micheaux’s legendary Harlem bookstore and Malcolm X’s influential role in her political and intellectual development.

BraceyPhoto2011Dr. John Bracey is chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst, where he’s taught since 1972. In the 1960s, Bracey was active in the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements in Chicago and has focused on this time period in his research. In his presentation, Bracey discusses Baraka’s contributions to the Black Arts, provides context for the emergence of the movement, and makes connections to current artists in hip hop.

Dr. James Smethurst is Professor of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst. He is author and editor of several books, including The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946. He is also working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the south. Smethurst gives a timeline of the Black Arts Movement and discusses the role of Amiri Baraka in the movement.

SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers, and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African-American population. Black Arts activists extended the reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio.

Special thanks to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for permission to record the presentations at their event and to WBAI producer Dred Scott Keyes, who gathered the sound and presented parts of it on his WBAI show Cutting Edge.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Sound recording and engineering by Dred Scott Keyes. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

This show will feature highlights of our premium for the fall fund drive, which is a 2-CD presentation of the book release event at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College on October 9, 2014. Discussion panelists were co-editors Sonia Sanchez with Drs. John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst. For your generous financial support to WBAI-FM, you will be able to get a copy of this program, the SOS—Calling All Black People reader, or both! You can also support WBAI (and the show) by donating as little as $5 during the fund drive.

Photos: John Bracey via UMass Afro Am | Sonia Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons / Slowking

Web links:

Pledge for the Suga in My Bowl Black Arts Movement 2-CD audio premium
Pledge for the SOS—Calling All Black People reader from the University of Massachusetts Press.
Donate whatever you can to WBAI to support Suga’ in My Bowl

Sunday 10/19/2014 Show: SOS Black Arts book presentation

SOScover_Amiri
Photo: Amiri Baraka | Joyce Jones
The next show will air on Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of Suga’ will focus on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement and feature talks by Sonia Sanchez and Drs. John Bracey and James Smethurst of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at a release party for their new book on the Black Arts Movement, SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. You can hear a short preview below.

Sonia_sanchez_9217Sonia Sanchez, whose been previously featured on Suga’ in My Bowl, while best known for her poetry and central role in the Black Arts Movement, is also a playwright, activist, and educator. In her presentation, Sanchez recalls the origin of Baraka’s decision to come to Harlem and help organize Black artists and discusses the beginning of Black Studies programs. She also speaks about the role of the Black artist and what she expects of herself as a poet. Sanchez also talks about her discovery of the Schomburg library and Micheaux’s legendary Harlem bookstore and Malcolm X’s influential role in her political and intellectual development.

BraceyPhoto2011Dr. John Bracey is chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst, where he’s taught since 1972. In the 1960s, Bracey was active in the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements in Chicago and has focused on this time period in his research. In his presentation, Bracey discusses Baraka’s contributions to the Black Arts, provides context for the emergence of the movement, and makes connections to current artists in hip hop.

Dr. James Smethurst is Professor of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst. He is author and editor of several books, including The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946. He is also working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the south. Smethurst gives a timeline of the Black Arts Movement and discusses the role of Amiri Baraka in the movement.

SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers, and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African-American population. Black Arts activists extended the reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio.

Special thanks to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for permission to record the presentations at their event and to WBAI producer Dred Scott Keyes, who gathered the sound and presented parts of it on his WBAI show Cutting Edge.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Sound recording and engineering by Dred Scott Keyes. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

This show will feature highlights of our premium for the fall fund drive, which is a 2-CD presentation of the book release event at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College on October 9, 2014. Discussion panelists were co-editors Sonia Sanchez with Drs. John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst. For your generous financial support to WBAI-FM, you will be able to get a copy of this program. You can also support WBAI (and the show) by donating as little as $5 during the fund drive.

Photos: John Bracey via UMass Afro Am | Sonia Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons / Slowking

Sunday 8/10/14 Show: Party Music with author Rickey Vincent

Vincent_Party_Music_cover-crop_475

The next show will air on Sunday, August 10, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature an interview with Rickey Vincent, author of Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One discussing his latest book, Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. You can hear a short preview of the show below.

Party Music by Rickey Vincent, is an exploration of the intersection of Black Power and Soul Music. Party Music features the story of the Black Panther Party’s own funk band The Lumpen. Vincent takes us into the Oakland based Black Panther Party in 1970, in which Minister of Culture Emory Douglas and Panther Party leaders had asked their rank-and-file members to produce a high performance band that could play the beats on the street and reach the people on the dancefloor – with the Party’s message of revolution.

In addition to the story of The Lumpen, Party Music goes in-depth into the Black Power Movement and explores the many ways that Soul and Black Power overlapped and converged during that turbulent time.

In this show, we’ll explore Vincent’s book and the fascinating story of a band that most people have never heard of and make connections to other popular music of late 1960s and early 70s that provided inspiration for The Lumpen. We promise that it’s gonna be a funky good time!

Show engineered and edited by Joyce Jones. Produced and hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Listen to The Lumpen’s song “Free Bobby Now”, which was released as a 45 single.

Sunday 11/3 Show: Music of Black Power with Pat Thomas

Listen_Whitey_cover_2The next show will air on Sunday November 3, 2013 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature an interview with Pat Thomas, author of the book Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and an accompanying soundtrack CD from Light in the Attic Records. Listen to a short preview below:

Noted music producer and scholar Pat Thomas spent five years in Oakland, CA researching Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. While befriending members of the Black Panther Party, Thomas discovered rare recordings of speeches, interviews, and music by noted activists Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Elaine Brown, The Lumpen and many others that form the framework of this definitive retrospective.

Listen, Whitey! also chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records. From 1970 to 1973, Motown’s Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby & Ossie Davis, and many others, all represented.

During this installment, we’ll discuss the chapters that focus on the role of “Jazz” and the spoken word in the movement.

Produced, engineered, and edited by Joyce Jones. Co-hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams.

Pat Thomas will be in New York for 2 events. He’ll be at Revolution Books in Manhattan on Monday November 4th at 7 PM and at a free event at Brooklyn College on Tuesday, November 5th at 2:15 PM.

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