Soul!: 1971–Miriam Makeba, Muhammad Ali, Nikki Giovanni, the Delfonics

We unearthed an episode of the late 60s/early 70s show Soul! from the WNET archives, including a number of songs performed by singer and political activist Miriam Makeba, an in-depth interview with her about her political activities, and a little about her then-husband, Black Panther Stokely Carmichael. In addition, the episode contains poet Nikki Giovanni interviewing Muhammad Ali, and a performance from vocal group the Delfonics.

(originally aired: January 5, 1972)

Part I:

An Interview/Performance with Miriam Makeba [Carmichael], conducted by Poet Nikki Giovanni
* The Delfonics perform “Trying To Make a Fool of Me”–Makeba starts at 6:30 in.
* Makeba and band perform “Brand New Day”
* Host/Poet Nikki Giovanni interviews Makeba on the differences and similarities between (pre-apartheid) South Africa and America, Makeba’s husband Stokely Carmichael, the difference between men in Africa and in America.
* Makeba performs “Liwa Wechi” with interpretive dance by Judy Dearing
* Makeba performs “La Guinee Guine”
* Makeba performs “Amampondo”
28 minutes.

(Notes: This video is Part I of this episode of Soul! from 1972; Part III of contains Makeba singing as the credits roll)

Part II

An interview with Muhammad Ali:
Ali talks with Nikki Giovanni about his recent fights, Wide World of Sports, Joe Frazier, and how he doesn’t recommend young black men take up boxing.
14 minutes.

Part III

Performances by the Delfonics AND Miriam Makeba (again):
* The Delfonics do “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time”
* The Delfonics perform “The Love That I Gave to You”
* Nikki Giovanni reads from her book Gemini.
* Miriam Makeba performs an African Pop song, “Mo Lou Yame”.
17 minutes.

more about Soul!
Aired 1968-73
Hosts: Ellis Haizlip, Nikki Giovanni, more

The entertainment-variety-talk show was not only a vehicle to promote black artistry, community and culture, but also a platform for political expression and the fight for social justice. It showcased classic live musical performances from funk, soul, jazz, and world musicians, but had in-depth, extraordinary interviews with political, sports, literary figures and more. It was the first program on WNET/Thirteen to be recorded on the then-new technology of videotape.