Soul Summit: Doin' It In The Park

Written on 11/05/2020
Dick Burroughs


Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa, the husband and wife team behind the digital publication Black-Owned Brooklyn, have released their first short film. It's a documentary called Soul Summit: Doin' It In The Park, which is about the free, open-air, house music event that many people from Brooklyn and beyond look forward to every summer.

Soul Summit has been a staple of Brooklyn summers since 2002, when it was founded by DJs Sadiq Bellamy, Tabu, and Jeff Mendoza, at Cuyler Gore Park on the corner of Fulton St. and Greene Ave. in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  It drew people far and wide to the Fort Greene neighborhood for a Sunday afternoon that's very Black, very gay, and very fun.  It gave equal doses of House Music, community, and freedom to a dedicated congression of dancers and the people who love dancers.

When it started back in 2002, NYC was still in the aftermath of 9/11, Bloomberg was in his first year as Mayor, and Black people still lived in Fort Greene! Every Sunday in the summers found Soul Summit at FGP filled with music, vendors, picnics, and melanated magic under the summer sun. Now, not so much. Not so many Black folks living in Fort Greene, while new and often less melanated residents want you "off their lawn" so Soul Summit only happens four Sundays each summer now.

Like it did nearly everything else, the pandemic ate those four Sundays in summer 2020. Mitigation measures canceled all large gatherings in city parks but, the documentary, which talks to DJ Saadiq and a host of regulars, while showing dope aerial shots and closeups of dancers, will put you back in the spirit; even if it's for only ten minutes.