• Monday, May 30th, 2011
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Rance Allen at WattstaxWattstax: The Living Word is a 1973 documentary film that focused on the Wattstax music festival that was staged at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1972. The concert was organized by Memphis-based Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts rebellion, which had torn apart the community of Los Angeles in 1965. In order to enable as many members of the L.A. black community to attend the event, tickets were sold for only $1.00 each.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, which included his “I am…Somebody” poem, which was recited in a call and response with the assembled stadium crowd. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary Film in 1974, and also was celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

Check out the videos to the left for some highlights from the festival…and the film:


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