The physical altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock is one of the most-talked-about moments from the 2022 Academy Awards, but it, unfortunately, overshadowed an important moment for the talented frontman of The Roots, Questlove. Moments after Rock’s G.I. Jane joke went left, he proceeded on with his obligatory duty of announcing the winner for the category of Best Original Documentary. That winner was Questlove. The documentary: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Taking to the stage alongside producers Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein. the Philly native, who directed the film, turned the attention away from himself, focusing instead on the individuals discussed in his body of work.
“This is such a stunning moment for me right now, but this is not about me. This is about marginalized people in Harlem that need to heal from pain,” he said, adding that he was extremely “overwhelmed” by the honor.
Summer of Soul tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week-long event that was held at what is now Marcus Garvey Park. The celebration, which was considered obscure at the time, featured memorable performances from icons like Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone and Gladys Knight & the Pips. The documentary went on to receive critical acclaim, which includes awards for Best Documentary Feature at the 6th Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and the Best Documentary Award at the 75th British Academy Film Awards. It also earned Questlove the 2021 Sundance Institute Vanguard Award.
After winning the Oscar last night, fans of the star took to social media to congratulate him amid the trending news of Smith slapping Rock.
“Philly is definitely in the building!!! Congrats @questloveon the Oscar!!!” added DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown also took some time to praise her friend after his Oscar win. “Dear @questlove I said it last night but I must say it again: CONGRATS on your @TheAcademy Award WIN for #BestDocumentary for your beautiful #SummerOfSoul, she wrote. “It was a well-deserved honor. And your speech was wonderful.”