Although I was never alive when Soul Train aired, I was able to count on ImageNation to give me a taste of what I missed. On Saturday August 12, 2017; ImageNation hosted the Annual Live Music and Film Soul Train Tribute to commemorate the music of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and more artist at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. The music was performed by Abiah, Keith Anthony Fluitt, Rae Walker, Lorenda Robinson, Lathan’s Way, Ali Bishop, Asa Lovechild, Petawane, and Liza Jessie Peterson; including mixings from Sunday Sermon’s Stormin Normin and Natasha Diggs. In addition, there was an actual Soul Train line, followed by screenings of the two films 90 Days and 13th.
The event began with 80’s music mixed by that of DJ Stormin Normin, who added his soulful energy with every song he played. As more people began to arrive, Normin began to play the iconic Soul Train theme song. The minute people heard the tune, they rushed into the front of the crowd to form the line. It was amazing watching people of all ages dance their way down the transformed Soul Train line; they even made me want to join despite the fact that I’m not the best dancer.
Overtime, seats began to fill, and the performers started approaching the stage. The band in charge of supporting each of the musicians opened up by playing the tune, “Rize”. This was then followed by Keith Anthony Fluitt’s performance of the song“Invisible”. After Fluitt’s performance, Rae Walker came to the stage and performed the song “Man of War”; in addition Lorenda Robinson performed “People Make the World Go Round; Lathan’s Way contributed by performing both “Mercy, Mercy Me” and “Hair”; Ali Bishop performed “I Shot the Sheriff”; Abiah also performed, and sang “Black is the Color… “; furthermore, Asa
Lovechild performed the song “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holla)”; Petawane concluded by performing, “Save The Children”. Every artist received standing ovations throughout and at the end of their performances, and they also connected to the audience by encouraging crowd participations. It was as if I were listening to a group chorus instead of individual acts.
Although the performances came to an end, there was still more to the night.
After the performances, the award winning short film 90 Days was shown to the viewers in attendance. Although the film was short, it had a lasting impact on the crowd, raising their awareness on HIV/AIDS in the Black community. Of course, at the end of the film, there was yet another round of applause.
To conclude the night, the critically lauded documentary 13TH, was screened to the audience. If you would like to know about my personal opinions and ideas about the film, stay tuned for my next post that will be devoted to DuVerney’s 13TH.