American Soul: Rita McGhee Captures Fashion That Fueled the World

by Margaret Gardiner May 25, 2020
Marquelle Young, London Brown, Sinqua Walls
Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius in "American Soul"
Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius and Demetria McKinney as June Pointer in "American Soul"
l-r: Jason Dirden as Gerald Aims; D.C. Young Fly as Sly Stone; and Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius in "American Soul"
Kearran Giovanni as Ruby Daniels in "American Soul"
Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius in "American Soul"
Katlyn Nichol as Simone Clarke and Demetria McKin-ney as June Pointer in "American Soul"

Award-nominated Rita McGhee, a veteran of 20 years in the industry, turns her talents to capturing the look that defined a generation. American Soul has the challenge of showcasing iconic talents like Bootsy Collins (played by London Brown), James Brown, and more while telling the story of Don Cornelius the host and creator of Soul Train. The California native, raised in Guam, is one of six children, currently teaming with sister – assistant costume designer – Alita Bailey in recreating the magic of the ‘70s. Fed by the colors of her early exposure to the lush colors of Guam, and inspired by the movie Mahogany, the Howard University graduate got her first break with Oscar winner, Ruth E. Carter. You may recognize her stamp of creativity from the first season of Empire which spurred fashion trends. McGhee has worked with top directors including Spike Lee and John Singleton.