Since Summer Of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, its upward trajectory has been one for the record books. The historic film that explored and spotlighted the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which occurred over the course of six Sundays between June 29 and August 24 at Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park), has won numerous awards across organizations including an Oscar and Grammy, and can now add Peabody to that list.
In his speech, he said, “It was an honor to do this film and it’s an honor to receive this accolade, and not just for my ego or for my personal achievement, but it was an honor to serve this film. It was an honor to serve history. This was a film that took 50 years to sort of get the snag off so it could fly, and I think it’s right on time, and on behalf of the Searchlight team, the Onyx [Collective] team, the Hulu team, [the film’s producers] Robert [Fyvolent], David [Dinerstein] and Joseph [Patel], everyone involved in this film…we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. [And as for] all the artists that performed, thank you for honoring them and honoring their history.”
In regards to this being his second Peabody, The Roots’ frontman humbly bragged, “I can’t wait to put that Peabody right next to my first Peabody right there—a two-timer!”
Keys spoke on the festival known as Black Woodstock and shared that if it hadn’t been for Questlove, it would’ve nearly been lost in history. She also commented on how the first-time director wove in the film’s archival footage with interviews and additional commentary.
“I could just imagine as I was watching it, all my favorite artists – Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone and so many others…in this beautiful summer of 1969 that you captured in your film,” Keys said. “It just blew my mind. It blew all of our minds and it opened us up and it introduced us to the greatness, the power, the strength, the fashion, the flavor, the zone…the spirit of this summer of soul and our culture and this energy…So, thank you for bringing to the light such a powerful moment in music and in history and our Black excellence.”
Watch Alicia Keys present Questlove and Summer of Soul with their Peabody below.