On March 6, 1971, a group of some of the top musicians from the United States -– Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, and more -– boarded a plane bound for Ghana to perform in a musical celebration that was dubbed the “Soul to Soul Festival.” Thousands of audience members filled Accra’s Black Star Square for a continuous 15 hours of music. The festival was planned in part for the annual celebration of Ghana’s independence, but also as an invitation to a “homecoming” for these noted African-American artists to return to Africa.
This episode revisits the famed music festival on its 50th anniversary and explores the longstanding legacy of cultural exchange with African diasporans originally set forth in the 1950s by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Tune in for interviews with noted musicologist John Collins, poet and scholar Tsitsi Ella Jaji, concert goers and more.
This story was originally produced for AfroPop Worldwide. To hear more stories from this Peabody-award winning show, visit www.afropop.org..