This Sunday, October 17th, at 5pm Pacific/ 7pm Central, Greenlight Women and HBO Max will present a virtual panel discussion and filmmaker grant award presentation, "An Inside Look: Mr. Soul!" The event celebrates Ellis Haizlip and the first "Black Tonight Show," and will feature 2021 GreenLight Women Filmmaker Grant award-winner Melissa Haizlip, producer/writer/director of the award-winning documentary, "Mr. Soul!" The film premiered on HBO Max this past August and chronicles the legacy of "SOUL!", the public television variety show produced and hosted by Ellis Haizlip (the director's uncle) that turned a spotlight on the Black Arts Movement. Enhancing the picture are music composed by Grammy-winner Robert Glasper as well as narration from NAACP and Emmy Award-winner Blair Underwood, who also serves as one of the film’s executive producers. You can RSVP for this free event here.
Blair Underwood will provide an introduction to Sunday's virtual event, while Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock!, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include Robert "Kool" Bell, founding member of Kool & the Gang; actor Anna Maria Horsford ("The Last O.G."); Grammy-winner Lalah Hathaway (singer/songwriter of "Show me Your Soul"); Chaz Ebert, executive producer of "Mr. Soul!" and publisher of RogerEbert.com; Laurens Grant, consulting producer of "Mr. Soul!" and Emmy-winner for "Freedom Riders"; Yale professor and NAACP Award-winner, Thomas Allen Harris; and Karen Horne, Senior VP of Equity and Inclusion at Warner Media.
Representatives of the Black Arts Movement who appeared on the show were timeless talents the likes of Sidney Poitier, The Last Poets, Gladys Knight, Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Al Green, Muhammad Ali, Cicely Tyson, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Ashford and Simpson, Roberta Flack, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, Billy Preston, Black Ivory, The Delfonics, Bill Withers, Nikki Giovanni, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, Wilson Pickett, Odetta, Merry Clayton, Mandrill, Kool and the Gang, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Cleaver, Betty Shabazz, Stokely Carmichael, Mrs. George Jackson, George Faison and Patti Labelle.
You can RSVP for this free event here.
"Making the film helped us illuminate the groundbreaking cultural work of the man behind one of the most successful and socially significant Black-produced television shows in US history," said director Haizlip. "We're beyond honored for the acknowledgements... that will serve as a way of introducing the film, the music, and Ellis Haizlip to the world. 'SOUL!' is the greatest show you've never heard of. And up until now, Ellis Haizlip has been an unsung hero. We hope our film 'Mr. SOUL!' and the music it celebrates will help to change that."