This is everything!
The creators of Black-Owned Brooklyn just released a short film documenting the legendary “Soul Summit” house music dance party.
Tayo and Cynthia Giwa are the creators of Black-Owned Brooklyn, “a community-rooted publication documenting Black Brooklyn’s people, places, and products.” The husband and wife duo live in Bed-Stuy and have made it their life’s mission to celebrate Black Brooklyn, a city that the Philly and Long Island natives have grown to love.
The two created Soul Summit: Doin It in the Park as a labor of love for the city. The 9-minute documentary tells the story of Fort Greene Park’s ”Soul Summit,” a house music dance party that’s been happening for the last two decades. The film explores the party’s humble roots and its rise to prominence as a global destination for house music lovers and “an enduring Black space in gentrified Brooklyn.”
“I first attended [Soul Summit] about a decade ago, when I moved to an apartment a block away from Fort Greene Park. I heard the party and walked over, and I was immediately drawn to the freedom and joy of this largely Black party. I quickly realized that it was a special space,” Tayo told Because Of Them We Can.
Cynthia shared the same sentiments, saying, “I first attended eight years ago. I was working in D.C. at the time but visiting a friend in Brooklyn, and she took me there. Especially since I’d been living in a city that felt kind of conservative, the sheer un-self-consciousness of Soul Summit was exciting to me. It’s one of my summertime staples now.”
The film mixes archival footage with interviews from co-founder Sadiq Bellamy and regular “Soul Summit” attendees to weave a story of the event’s sacredness. The free party used to take place every Sunday during the summer, but growing gentrification issues and a bevy of red tape have decreased the occurrence to just twice a year. “Soul Summit” attendee Brian Polite calls the party “the last large pushback against the change that gentrification has wrought.”
Tayo and Cynthia both said they hope the film brings joy to viewers while also creating nostalgia for those who may have attended and appreciate the cultural staple in an ever-changing landscape.
“Through our work with Black-Owned Brooklyn, we aim to examine and lift up everyday Black culture. We believe our world is just as interesting as any other world, and we want to reassert the stories of Black people who live in Brooklyn and the institutions they’ve created. We see this film as an extension of that work,” the duo said.
Check out the film Soul Summit: Doin’ It in the Park below!
Thank you for sharing a piece of Brooklyn’s soul! Congratulations, Tayo and Cynthia!
Photo Courtesy of Black-Owned Brooklyn