The Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969

"The Harlem Cultural Festival was arguably one of the first of its kind to promote black pop as transformative urban event, as a site to be inhabited as well as a sound to be experienced, and the key to new neighborhood connections and collaborations. For black folks, the added power and energy of coming together in a place where one could not only see, hear and feel blackness onstage but also participate in a marketplace of neighborhood business owners was its own form of sustainability..." -- NY Times

"The Harlem Cultural Festival, or as it is more commonly known Black Woodstock featured a number of concerts that were held in Harlem over the summer months of 1969 starting on June 29th and culminating on August 24th. Ironically, despite the name, Black Woodstock started before its better known namesake and concluded the week after what became the ultimate hippyfest. The idea behind Black Woodstock was to celebrate African American music and promote black pride and unity after a difficult period during the late 1960s which saw the Watts Riots and the deaths of Martin Luther King (April 1968) and Malcolm X (February 1965). The series of six concerts were held at 3pm on Sunday afternoons at Mount Morris Park, Harlem and featured what can only be described as a roll call of the best black musicians, singers and bands around at the time." -- Voices of East Anglia

Included in this collection of images are some of the artists that performed, as well as the Black Panthers who stepped in to provide security when NYPD declined, at this seminal concert in New York City in 1969. All images are available as fine art prints.

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