View Full Version : Was Elvis A Racist?

Jumpsuit Junkie
03-09-2006, 09:29 PM
Having read an article on Elvis Express I was intriged to hear your thoughts on whether elvis could ever be considered a racist?

A small excerpt from Elvis Express:-

"There have been rumors about him, saying that he said 'The
only thing blacks can do for me is shine my shoes."

Here is the full story!! www.elvis-express.com/racist.html (http://www.elvis-express.com/racist.html)


03-09-2006, 09:54 PM
I never heard Elvis say anything bad about anybody. No he was not a racist.

03-09-2006, 10:09 PM
No, he wasn't racist!
If I'm right Elvis himself denied in a interview (one of his interviews of the fifties) to have ever told those kind of affirmations and that it was a total invented accusation...:angry:

03-09-2006, 10:58 PM
The only thing black people can do for me is shine my shoes and buy my music.
Misattributed in "He wasn't my king" by Helen Kolawole in The Guardian (15 August 2002) apparently citing an unsourced anecdote; Debunked in "Elvis and being a racist", and Counterpunch (29 August 2002) which cites an article in Jet magazine (1 August 1957):
"Tracing that rumored racial slur to its source was like running a gopher to earth", Jet wrote. Some said Presley had said it in in Boston, which Elvis had never visited. Some said it was on Edward Murrow's on which Elvis had never appeared. Jet sent Louie Robinson to the set of Jailhouse Rock "When asked if he ever made the remark, Missisissippi-born Elvis declared: I never said anything like that, and people who know me know I wouldn't have said it"

03-09-2006, 11:41 PM
this is total crap in light words
Elvis basically grew up with blacks all through the early years, he was inspired by them and their music, he was friends with some of the most famous black men and women (Diana Ross and James Brown etc)
I hope this doesnt go to the press

03-10-2006, 12:12 AM
This is total garbage! Elvis was in no way a racist, this was just started as a rumor, to try and break him like the press does every other celebrity. Elvis grew up around the blacks on Beale Street, and pretty much idolized the whole black culture. The way he sang, moved on stage, and dressed were all derived from that black culture. Not to mention that his head cook was black, and he was best friends with James Brown, Fats Domino, and Johnny Mathis.

Joe Car
03-10-2006, 03:33 AM
In 1956/57, Elvis attended many concerts in Memphis by African-Amercian artists only, gladly having his picture with them, arm around their shoulder, or just shaking hands. This is when racism was at it's height, yet he didn't care. When Martin Luther King was murdered, Elvis cried. When he played the Houston Astrodome in 1970, they asked him to leave "the negro girls home" to which Elvis replied, "If the Sweets, (meaning the Sweet Inspirations) don't go, neither do I". When Jackie Wilson was hospitalized, it was Elvis who paid his bill. When Elvis and Priscilla read about an elderly black woman who didn't have any money for a wheelchair, it was he and Priscilla who delivered it personally to her house with Elvis lifting up the lady from the couch and placing her in the goldplated wheelchair, tears ran down the cheeks of this unbelievable sensitive icon who never forgot his roots and who showed compassion his whole life. When Elvis seen a black couple checking out cars through a showroom window in 1975, he went up to them and asked them to pick out the Caddy of their choice. When his African American cook Mary Jenkin's husband was laid off from his job, it was Elvis who hired him as a security guard at Graceland. There are a ton of other stories, stories that never made it in the news because EP wanted it that way. He loved everybody, no matter race, colour or creed. He was a very special man to say the least. That's why I get pissed when he gets picked on, he didn't deserve it.

03-10-2006, 04:13 AM
Well said, Joe. As you said, there are many other examples of this, and probably so many that we will never know. That Jet Magazine in 1957 did their own investigation into this matter and decided that Elvis' being a racist was an unfounded rumor speaks well for the argument against it, I'd say. In Elvis On Tour, he is seen kissing the Sweets before the last show of the tour, for heaven's sake...

03-10-2006, 05:46 AM
This is absolutely insane! It completely goes without saying that Elvis was NOT racist in any way, shape, or form.

03-10-2006, 05:53 AM
Untrue crap. No other words for that. :mad: :censored:

Jumpsuit Junkie
03-10-2006, 10:13 AM
You know when you start a topic of this nature you are always going to get a great response :D and I'm glad there is. There is no truth to the accusation at all, how can a guy with his style in singing, dancing and vision ever be accused?
How Can A Honorary Black Guy Be Racist?

03-10-2006, 10:39 AM
It's pure nonsense. For Elvis to have been a racist would be to have been denying his own multi-racial background (Cherokee mix, partly just like me which is why I proudly wear it as my screen name!:D ).
Only people who didn't study his background would be dumb enough to claim that about him.:!:

03-10-2006, 07:52 PM
I said a lot of bad things about Elvis on this forum, but he never was a racist!

03-10-2006, 07:57 PM
I think since he grew up in Tupelo Mississippi and people of all races were just dirt poor you have to have an understanding of what its like to feel looked down on. From that point of view I can not see him being a racist. He always acknowledged his black gospel and blues roots and the talented people who made that music.

03-10-2006, 08:44 PM
Elvis Presley was the most unracist person ever.

03-11-2006, 03:23 AM
Elvis paid for the medical education of a young black man. That's MEDICAL, not regular college...much more expensive and a longer commitment.

03-11-2006, 03:40 AM
The Sweet Inspirations, his back up singers, were black. He also publicly chastized an audience member during a concert for yelling "******," and lectured at how the word is very stupid.

He was not a racist.

03-11-2006, 03:53 AM
there is also a lovely story on the 'he touched me' dvd in a review with Myrna Smith, and she says that when people of the Houston Astrodome asked Elvis to sing there, they did'nt want the black female backing group the Sweet Inspirations, and Elvis said soem thing like 'if they go, i go too'

and i also believe that racist remarks are very inappropriate. i find no difference except the skin colour, they are human beings like all of us, there is no better, only equal

03-11-2006, 06:22 AM
Rediculous claim! He was the most non racist white person I have ever heard of. Great response Joe!
Hey Cherokee, where are you from. I'm part Cherokee too! From Tennessee....

03-11-2006, 11:20 AM
^The percentage of Elvis' Cherokee blood and the fact that it was not just from Gladys' but apparently (a bit further back) from Vernon's side (unbeknown to him) as well, doesn't make him (or them for that matter) a white person in several of the United States (the "one drop of blood rule). I have always considered Elvis a colored person. I know the Colonel was dead set against Elvis' wish to go public with his background of which he was so proud> his Cherokee roots.
"Parker" did let up a few test balloons in several of Elvis' movies to see how the public would respond. Like "Flaming Star" in which he was a half breed, but also "G.I. Blues" in which his character says he has Cherokee blood.
I never heard anyone responding negatively to Elvis' Cherokee background, but somehow the colonel did prevent Elvis from ever making a public statement about it.
My personal roots are a bit further back, from Scotland to Mississippi, there mixed with Cherokee blood, back to Europe mixed with Dutch, to Indonesia - mixed there with other mixes. In total I have about 9 races/bloods in me:) Most prevalent> Indonesian, Dutch, Cherokee, Scottish, Jewish (from Germany), French etc.:D

03-11-2006, 01:47 PM
Elvis wasnt a racist. He grew up in the South and did pass comments but they were just comments, you have to factor in the time and place he was raised. He called Lamar a fat ***, it doesent mean he hated Lamar or had any Xenophobic qualities.

Unchained Melody
03-17-2006, 11:12 PM
I have heard this story a couple of times but I dont buy it for 1 minute. Elvis was not racist not the least bit. He loved everybody I think. He loved different types of music like the blues so no, I dont think Elvis was racist.

03-17-2006, 11:24 PM
Elvis was definately not racist. He was very unracist

Raised on Rock
03-19-2006, 03:50 AM
Hey everybody longtime no see, big hello from Baja California M?xico...

Was Elvis a Racist? well what do you think after takin a look at this pic

Unchained Melody
03-19-2006, 03:59 AM
They are getting a little close in this picture dont you think so lol :D

03-19-2006, 06:26 AM
As an African - American mutt (I have different backgrounds but I'm mostly black)I agree, I don't think that Elvis was a racist. Someone in this thread said that, the press just started the rumor to to bring Elvis down and I agree with that also. They probably started it because many people admired the man, including the blacks.

03-19-2006, 09:59 AM
I think it's about time we put this piece to rest. History has already answered this question. Just look at the facts the way they are and you all know the answer.

03-20-2006, 08:17 AM
Absolutely not! Elvis was not a racist... (n)

03-20-2006, 09:05 AM
Elvis a racist. You must be joking.

03-20-2006, 09:06 AM
Having read an article on Elvis Express I was intriged to hear your thoughts on whether elvis could ever be considered a racist?

A small excerpt from Elvis Express:-

"There have been rumors about him, saying that he said 'The
only thing blacks can do for me is shine my shoes."

Here is the full story!! www.elvis-express.com/racist.html (http://www.elvis-express.com/racist.html)

THIS IS RIDICULOUS :D :D What about Sweet Inspirations in his band :D I think solely THAT proves he was no racist, lol :lol: ;)

03-20-2006, 11:41 PM
No he was'nt racist, I never heard him say anything bad about anyone.

Joe Car
03-21-2006, 12:31 AM
I think it was Tom Petty who said in the Elvis Lives special, (though I'm not sure if these were his exact words) "He was one of the true southern gentleman who brought races together".

03-21-2006, 12:42 AM

03-21-2006, 08:52 AM
I think it was Tom Petty who said in the Elvis Lives special, (though I'm not sure if these were his exact words) "He was one of the true southern gentleman who brought races together".

Good Lord, I just looooove Petty!! (y) (y) (y)