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Former Director of Beck Cultural Exchange Center Looks at Elvis' Influence on Race Relations

March 13, 2013

Elvis is known as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, fashion icon, and humanitarian, but what about his influence on race relations? Freelance writer and former Executive Director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Robert J. Booker, recently shared his take on Elvis' cultural impact in an article posted on

"In the beginning I was confused about Presley’s color because he was highly successful in combining country, R&B and blues, which were the ingredients for what was to be rock ‘n’ roll."

Booker looks at Elvis' revolutionary rise to stardom with songs topping all three charts for the first time in history. He compares music of the '50s and how Elvis opened doors to artists of all races and cultural backgrounds.

"Music and sports did more, perhaps, to bring about good race relations than anything else. Without trying and maybe unknowingly, Elvis Presley led the way."

Read the entire article "Elvis Presley's Music Aided Race Relations" by visiting Ready to learn more about the king? Plan your rock 'n' roll pilgrimage to his home here in Memphis with our free online trip planner!