*On of the pillars in black music culture is going down in history at the Smithsonian. “Soul Train” artifacts will be making their way to the historical national museum.
According to the Washington Post, five pieces will be donated, including the 10-foot-long neon “Train” sign, which was used from 1993-2006.
For 37 years, the classic television series caught the attention of young African American people all across the country as new artists were highlighted and dancers got their start.
It originally aired in 1971 and was hosted by its founder, Don Cornelius (pictured). With his smooth, deep voice, the former Chicago newsman took the show to Los Angeles and eventually helped launch it into syndication.
At the end of every show, fans at home and abroad would follow along when he said, “As always in parting, we wish you love, peace and SOUL!”
“From a scholarly point of view, this is one of those television shows that beamed African American cultural to the households of black and white America. It (became one of the early) crossover shows. It dominated the black TV viewership of black teenagers. And then it impacted white households,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of the museum. “Like every black kid in America, I watched to see what the newest move was — even if I couldn’t do it.”