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CATEGORY: Beyond the Films

Who Was Mr. SOUL?

If you’re of a certain generation and familiar at all with the late ’60s and early ’70s groundbreaking public TV show SOUL!, you may recognize the name Ellis Haizlip, but he’s not exactly a household name. The groundbreaking producer and co-host of the show is also filmmaker Melissa Haizlip’s late uncle. While Ellis Haizlip sadly … READ MORE

Listen Up: How Music Was the Heart of SOUL!

by Nick Dedina Today we take it for granted that Black culture is mainstream American culture. But, before the age of hip-hop, cable TV, the internet, streaming, and mobile phones, African Americans basically had to crowdsource their own entertainment guide.  Forget about Black stories being told—so few Black artists were even accepted on TV that … READ MORE

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis Haizlip. Many have likely seen the pristine sets of SOUL! and not even know it. The series featured legendary black musicians, artists, athlete-activists, and thinkers … READ MORE

Working Women’s Wardrobe: How the 1970s Opened Feminist Fashion

By Marlen Komar In the early 1970s, a group of Boston secretaries came together to improve the working conditions in their offices. Tired of low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and constant sexual harassment, they created the group 9to5, which would eventually grow into a nationwide revolution that would change the American workplace for women. … READ MORE

From Kilroy to Pepe: A Brief History of Memes

By Lennlee Keep What do Pepe the Frog, the Spanish Inquisition, the blinking guy, the French Revolution, concern for the environment, and the Third Reich all have in common? These are all ideas that spread until they became pervasive throughout a culture or country. According to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, they are also all cultural … READ MORE

The Science of Kindness: It’s Not Easy Being Nice

Author Josh Kurz is a science communicator and filmmaker, and the co-creator of the audio program Shabam, which uses a zombie apocalypse to talk about real science. By Josh Kurz You might know someone like “Scott.” Fun at parties, has passionate opinions about a wide range of topics; space travel, the Mayan calendar, twerking. But … READ MORE

Six Unusual Instruments and How They Work

By Ade D. Adeniji Stacy Tenenbaum’s film Pipe Dreams features four young organ players competing in the prestigious Canadian International Organ Competition, held every few years in Montreal. What’s striking is that each musician has a completely different approach to playing the quirky instrument; Nick Capozzoli is all about playing obscure modern music, whereas Alcee … READ MORE

Do You Live in a News Bubble?

By Brooke Shelby Biggs Whether you think of her as a visionary or a kook, Marion Stokes was far ahead of her time in addressing a problem in American media that continues to this day: a lack of diversity among the gatekeepers of traditional media. When she confronted white male panelists on the Philadelphia local … READ MORE

Meet the Mavericks of Science and Medicine

by Heather Archuletta In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis proposed a simple tactic: wash your hands. It’s difficult to imagine this as a medical “breakthrough,” but the Hungarian physician noted that when hand-washing was constant, contagion quickly and measurably plummeted. He experimented with antiseptic solutions, mistakenly assuming his idea would be embraced because it would save … READ MORE