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Was Elvis a Racist?


Question: Was Elvis a Racist?
Answer: For several decades a rumor has persisted that Elvis Presley once said, "The only thing Negroes can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes." The very fact that the rumor has persisted for so long is, for some people, proof of the accuracy of the claim. Nevertheless, it has been concluded that Elvis almost certainly never made such a statement.
  • First, it was reported that Elvis made the statement while in Boston. However, the singer had never been to Boston at that point.
  • It was also claimed that Elvis made the statement on a t.v. show -- but Elvis never appeared on that particular show.
  • The first time the rumor ever appeared in print, it was cited as a rumor.
  • Jet magazine investigated the rumor in 1957 and found it to be false.
  • Many black friends and associates of Elvis came to the singer's defense, maintaining that he never would have made such a remark.
For an in-depth examination of the racism rumor and why it is, in all probability, false, visit these resources:

More Frequently Asked Questions About Elvis

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