Elvis PresleyHe is a divisive figure. He was about as famous as anyone has ever been, but his legacy’s been called into question due to alleged racism and cultural appropriation. Pricilla Presley is chiming in on her ex-husband’s attitudes and what he would make of the world today.
Elvis Presley: Appropriator or Appreciator
Presley’s traditional story says that he took black music and made the music marketable for white audiences. Because of his skin color, he was able dance and sexually indulge more. Sam Philips, the legendary Sun Records boss, was looking for a white man capable of playing black music. He knew it would make him a millionaire. He was right.
RELATED: Why Dolly Parton Didn’t Let Elvis Presley Record One of Her Most Iconic Songs
Even in Presley’s time, he faced questions about racism. He was always proud of his influences and refused to follow segregation laws as a youth. He was known to have hid his nickname. “The King,”Tell anyone you can who will listen. Fats Domino earned the title.
Public Enemy’s most famous criticism of Presley is probably the best. One of the most significant recordings of the 20th Century, “Fight the Power,”He raps “Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me. Straight-up racist that sucker was simple and plain.”
Chuck D would later amend his sentiment, but he’s never let Presley off the hook completely. 2002 He told the Associated Press: “My heroes came from someone else. My heroes came before him. My heroes were probably his heroes. As far as Elvis being ‘The King,’ I couldn’t buy that.”
Presley was divisive in the eyes of his peers. This paradox can be seen in the following: Little Richard has spokenAbout him. He once said, “I believe that if Elvis had been Black, he wouldn’t have been as big as he was. If I was white, do you know how huge I’d be? If I was white, I’d be able to sit on top of the White House!”
In another instance, Presley was called Richard “An integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn’t let black music through. He opened the door for black music.”It is clear that Presley changed the world. Presley changed the music that was played on radio stations and earned a lot of money doing so. It would have been impossible for him to succeed at that level at that time if he weren’t white.
Priscilla Presley Chimes In
With the release of Baz Luhrmann’s ElvisThe racism question is at fever pitch. The film portrays Presley as an ally, though that may say more about what we want out of Presley’s legacy in 2022. For more information, see the following: Piers Morgan was with Priscilla. to discuss her ex-husband and where he would fit in today’s world.
Priscilla insists that Elvis wasn’t a racist. “He’s never been a racist. Elvis had friends, Black friends, friends from all over. He loved their music, he loved their style. He loved being around Black musicians.”She also noted his friendships and collaborations with famous black artists, such as Sammy Davis Jr. or Fats Domino.
“He loved, loved being around Blacks and being around anyone, actually. He was not prejudiced in any way. He was not racist in any way,” Priscilla says. She’s found it alarming that people want to take him down all this time later.
Case and point their staggering age gap. When Elvis was 14, Priscilla met Elvis. When asked by Morgan if Elvis would survive cancel culture, Priscilla says “That’s a good question, I think of that often…You know, what would Elvis think? He wouldn’t believe what is going on right now to this country, or all over, what’s happening to this planet. He was very concerned about our presidents, who was ruling the country.”
Richard Nixon was famously close friends with Elvis. Priscilla believes that Elvis would bring his concerns straight to Joe Biden, just like he did with Nixon. “Elvis would probably go to the president, like he did with Nixon, put his foot down and say, ‘What’s going on?’”
How reliable is this testimony?
The fact that Priscilla went on Morgan’s talk show should tell you a bit about where her political allegiances may lie, but that’s beside the point. In Priscilla’s eyes, Elvis did do enough to uplift black people in his lifetime by associating with them—though her take is unlikely to assuage many people.
There isn’t a clear answer as to whether or not Elvis was racist. There will be different answers depending on who is asking and whether there are vested interests in his legacy. It is clear that he made music more enjoyable and tried to give credit where credit was due. He became a millionaire simply by mimicking a sound, either consciously or subconsciously. This is Elvis Presley’s paradox.
More from Suggest
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment