Yes, I’m a total Beatles geek (you might have noticed that before). But even this lifelong fan can learn a thing or two about her favorite band and, consequently, admire them even more.
While this sort of thing isn’t (hopefully) the kind people would think twice about these days, that the Beatles–at the time arguably the most popular band in the world–wouldn’t play for segregated audience is pretty astounding. It was even in their contract, one of which is now up for auction and dates from 1965. From the BBC:
The Beatles had previously taken a public stand on civil rights in 1964, when they refused to perform at a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.
City officials relented, allowing the stadium to be integrated, and the band took to the stage.
“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” said John Lennon. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”
The struggle for racial equality in America later inspired Paul McCartney to write Blackbird.
[Check out junipaire’s Flickr stream while you’re at it.]