Sooooul Food

My dad would put me in front of the TV and give me grits and tell me I was going to get in touch with my black side while I was at his house on the weekends.
—Jenée Desmond-Harris, contributing editor

Dazzling Dancers

My sisters and I would watch and argue over which dancer we got to "be":
"I'm the one in the sequins!"
"No, I'm her! You got to be her last time!"
—Lauren Williams, deputy editor


Caged Byrd

My cousins and I used to mimic all the dance moves of the guest singers while they were performing. When the show went off, we would use a brush as a microphone and try to sing or dance exactly like the performer. That would keep us entertained for hours. One Saturday afternoon, I decided to use the bar stool in our den as "the cage" on Soul Train. I was clinging to the stool with one hand and dancing like I'd seen the cage girls dance. Then my mother came down the stairs …
—Donna Byrd, publisher


Pos-itively Beautiful

I wanted to be a Soul Train dancer until middle school; that's how much I loved Soul Train. I liked the black hair-care commercials the most, like the ones by Posner.
—Nsenga Burton, editor-at-large


Scrambled, Over Easy

I liked the Scramble Board where they moved the letters around; I don't think the players ever failed to solve the puzzle.
—Joel Dreyfuss, senior editor-at-large 


I liked the Scramble Board, too. My brother and I would race to see who could figure it out first.
—Erin Evans, contributing editor

Teach Me How to Dance, Part 1


Growing up in Staten Island, N.Y., which is the land of no rhythm (pre-Wu-Tang), I figured out how to be black by watching Soul Train. (And how to dance on the beat.)
—Teresa Wiltz, senior editor (and former modern-dance performer)

I'm with Teresa. The Soul Train dancers were my only black friends!
—Akoto Ofori-Atta, assistant editor

Teach Me How to Dance, Part 2


I used to hold my baby brother upright by his arms and "teach" him to dance to whatever Soul Train was playing.
—Dara Sharif, contributor

Whip My Hair


My favorite Soul Train moments were running home from school in Karlsruhe, Germany, to catch Soul Train. I was particularly fascinated with Cheryl Song, aka "the Asian lady" with the long hair who moved so elegantly. A close second was an episode from the '80s when the Dazz Band performed "Let It Whip," and all my peers had a dance contest to see who could do the "whip" the best! I won! And lastly, the time my cousin Vann Holland and his group Simple Pleasure performed! He was official!
—Michael Clark, national sales manager

Showing Out


My favorite Soul Train memory is the way my grandmother repeatedly warned me that it would break her heart if she ever saw us kids "carrying on" on TV like those people on Soul Train. She thought it was no way for properly raised young black people to behave. So of course we'd smile and promise her we'd be on Soul Train the first opportunity we got.
—Sheryl Huggins Salomon, managing editor

It's All About the 'Fro


I liked to check out whether my Afro — I was known as Little Angela Davis at the time — compared favorably in size with those on the dance floor. It did.
—Teresa Ridley, contributing copy editor