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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Soul!

A new documentary entitled Mr. SOUL! ELLIS HAIZLIP AND THE BIRTH OF BLACK POWER TV features resources from the Ellis B. Haizlip Papers. The papers are a record of Ellis Haizlip's life-long promotion of African American performing arts and culture, and his commitment to community uplift through charitable work and political activism. The collection highlights his artistic and community projects and his affiliations with a variety of nonprofit organizations. The papers also documents Haizlip's work in the production of a number of television shows (most notably SOUL!), theatrical events, (James Baldwin's Amen Corner), as well as his work with choreographer Alvin Ailey.  The new documentary centers around SOUl!, the groundbreaking PBS television series produced and hosted by Haizlip from 1968 to 1973 and presented by New York City's WNET/Channel 13. The collection includes family papers, correspondence, scripts of plays and television productions, and photographs, as well as videoptapes of episodes from his television series.

Ellis Haizlip (left) listens to Imamu Amiri Baraka (right) recite four poems on Soul!
Ellis B. Haizlip Papers,Anacostia Community Museum Archives, image copyrighted by WNET/13
Ellis B. Haizlip (1929 - 1991) was an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, educator, fundraiser and social activist. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Haizlip grew up in the Northeast section of Deanwood, graduated from Dunbar High School, and attended Howard University. This week in Washington, D.C., there will be a series of screenings of the work-in-progress, followed by Q&A panel discussions featuring scholars, the filmmakers and special guests. The series begins today with a community screening commemorating Haizlip's birthday (September 21st).

The Anacostia Community Museum Archives staff is in the process of revising the Ellis Haizlip collection inventory created in 1994 and creating a new electronic finding aid.  Do continue to revisit this blog to learn more!   

Jennifer Morris
Anacostia Community Museum 

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