WCTE: Mr. SOUL!
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In 1968, America’s first Black variety show, “SOUL!,” helmed by producer and host Ellis Haizlip, premiered on public television. The pioneering series ran for five years, cementing itself as not only a vehicle to celebrate African American artistry, community, and culture but also as a platform for political expression and a powerful force in the fight for social justice. Mr. SOUL! portrays in exquisite detail a revolutionary time in American culture and entertainment through vibrant archival footage and interviews with numerous Black luminaries who appeared on “SOUL!,” or were impacted by it.
Mr. SOUL! will premiere on WCTE-PBS on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 10:00 PM.
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Filmmaker Melissa Hazlip introduces Mr. SOUL!
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In 1968, producer Ellis Haizlip developed a new show aimed at Black audiences, one that used the familiar variety-show format to display and celebrate the breadth of Black culture. For five years, the public television series SOUL! highlighted Black literature, music, and politics, and often paired guests in unexpected juxtapositions that gave them an opportunity to shine in unique ways.
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- Dr. Cephas Ablakwa
WCTE, Director of Education & Engagement
- Mr. Marc Burnett
A native of Alcoa, Tennessee and a 1977 graduate of Alcoa High School, Marc Burnett has served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Tennessee Technological University since March 1992. He is the second person to hold the position since its creation in 1982. He holds a BS degree in English Journalism, a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, and an Ed.S. in Administration & Supervision all from Tennessee Tech University. As the lead Student Affairs administrator, Mr. Burnett works with students, faculty, and staff to create and maintain student development. This includes: Campus Recreation, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Accessible Edcuation Center, Eagle Card, Greek Life, Health Services, Minority Affairs, Residential Life, Service Learning, Student Activities, Student Government Association, and University Police. Moreover, he is currently the Universities Chief Diversity Officer. He is an avid racquetball player and was a four-year letter winner in basketball at TTU. He is a member of the Blount County and TTU Sports Hall of Fame.
- Dr. Krystal Akehinmi
B.S., Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, History Education, Summa Cum Laude; M.A., American University, United States History, Certificate, Oral History; Ph. D., Rutgers University, United States History (Major), African American History (Minor)
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.