By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem, directed by Keith McQuirter, is a new four-part documentary series that brings alive the dramatic true story of Harlem and its music during the 1960s and connects this rich history to our present moment. Combining interviews, archival footage and vérité the series takes audiences on a musical journey that brings to life the excitement of 1960’s Harlem, and introduces the artists who dared to use their voices, instruments and lyrics to take a stand against oppression. Through the prism of contemporary artists, audiences will see beyond the black and white historical images into the multicolored souls of musicians unafraid to use music as a weapon of change against today’s injustices. The 1960s was a transformative decade of civil rights struggle, street protest, and rising calls for black power. It was also a time of unprecedented musical innovation, when Black music – including soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, blues, and latin – reached new heights, reflecting and propelling the era’s seismic changes, sending a message heard around the world, and impacting generations to come.

Executive produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Keith McQuirter and Swizz Beatz.

Director/Executive Producer
Keith McQuirter
Project Type
Television Docu-Series
TV Network