Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa, the creators behind website and Instagram account Black-Owned Brooklyn, have released their first short film, Soul Summit: Doin’ It in the Park.

The short film relates the “history and cultural impact” of the Soul Summit house music dance party at Fort Greene Park. According to the description:

Through archival footage spanning nearly 20 years, in addition to interviews with Soul Summit co-founder Sadiq Bellamy and longtime attendees, the nine-minute film illuminates Soul Summit’s rise to a global destination for house heads; a safe haven for Black queer expression; and an enduring, authentic Black space in gentrified Brooklyn.” The film also focuses on the waning influence of Soul Summit due to Fort Greene going through gentrification, which has led to more regulation of the community park and an increase in noise complaints. The party has now reduced its regularity to just twice a year. However, the film points out that dancer Brian Polite says during the film that Soul Summit is “the last large pushback against the change that gentrification has wrought.”

The film utilizes interviews at Fort Greene Park in July, the first time the party didn’t occur since its 2002 inception because of the coronavirus pandemic. It also uses footage from YouTube to give viewers a full experience of Soul Summit and its impact.

The film is available on YouTube, and is embedded below.


Photo: Black-Owned Brooklyn