This 1971 Concert Showed the World The Glory of Pan-Africanism

Via Flickr

August 6, 2019

Sweat drips and souls move as over 100,000 bodies sway in excitement and anticipation. “How many of you think you got soul tonight? Raise your hands!” yells Wilson Pickett, as the strings and horn sections swell.

Despite the wind - and the fact that attendees were ten hours into a 15-hour show - the mood was electric. That’s because they were at Soul to Soul, a groundbreaking 1971 concert in Ghana billed as “African Woodstock.” 

Wilson Pickettt, with Ike and Tina Turner, headlined Soul to Soul, which took place on Ghana’s Independence Day. 

It was only 14 years after freedom from Britain, and two years after everything almost fell apart through a military coup. The celebratory air, and feeling of bonds being forged and reinforced, were almost tangible.

Our African brothers and sisters were attuned to American culture - but Black superstars rarely visited Africa.

This time, they explored a bit before the show - attending ceremonies and visiting a Cape Coast slave castle, a somber relic of our ancestors’ pain.

Along with the headliners were the Staples Sisters, Roberta Flack, and local Ghanaian musicians, who collaborated and performed together, cementing relationships and building community across the globe.

If you want to experience the glory and beauty of Soul to Soul, a concert film and soundtrack were re-released in 2005! Check it out and get some soul!

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