At the LA Coliseum in 1972, the Watts Summer Festival brought together musicians and entertainers from the black community to remember the Watts Riots from seven years prior. Organized by Stax Records, the concert featured incendiary performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Staple Singers, the Emotions, the Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel– plus biting humor from a then little-known Richard Pryor. More than a concert film, WATTSTAX captures a heady moment in mid-1970s, “black-is-beautiful” African-American culture, when Los Angeles’s black community came together to celebrate its survival and a renewed hope in its future. (Mel Stuart, 1973, 83 min)
Followed by conversation with Chicago based DJ, blogger, promoter and tastemaker Duane Powell, and powerhouse performer, writer and educator Nikki Patin.