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Remembering how The Beatles helped break down racial segregation by refusing to play, 1964

Saturday, March 24, 2018

In 1964, The Beatles made a huge step towards fighting racial segregation by refusing to play a show that had split the audience without their consent.

Showed their support for the US civil rights movement, refusing to perform to a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. As the pressure of The Beatles not performing threatened to boil over, officials at the concert eventually allowed the segregated audience to merge together. Upon entering the stage, John Lennon said: “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now.

“I’d sooner lose our appearance money,” he added.

The details of the incident were later captured in the recent and comprehensive documentary ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week’ directed by Ron Howard. “Their first controversial political stance didn’t have to do with Vietnam, it had to do with segregation in the South’, director Howard explained. “They found out that one of their concerts in Jacksonville, Florida was meant to be segregated and they refused to play it that way. They even had in their contract they would not play to segregated audiences. It was a ludicrous idea to them,” he added.

Source: Lee Thomas-MasonEditor-in-chief/faroutmagazine.co.uk

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