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Gayle F. Wald
George Washington University (Washington, DC 20052-0001)
A History of "Soul!", the First Nationally Televised Program to Showcase the Black Power Movement

I am applying for an NEH Fellowship to complete a book, “It’s Been Beautiful”: Soul! and Black Power Television, currently under contract with Duke University Press. “It’s Been Beautiful” combines archival and secondary research with oral history to tell the story of Soul! (1968-73), a seminal yet understudied landmark in the history of American television. One of the earliest black-produced shows on TV, Soul! was the first nationally televised program to showcase cultural expressions of the Black Power movement. "It’s Been Beautiful" seeks to insert Soul! into the annals of television, where it is glaringly absent despite its popularity and significance. More profoundly, it uses Soul! to complicate and enrich our ideas about radicalism in culture and politics in the late 20th-century United States. The rise and demise of Soul is also a story of shifts in policy priorities in the wake of Civil Rights, shedding light on challenges that continue to confront public broadcasting today.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Media Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013