Elvis Presley and African American Music

Powerful Essays
"I can guarantee you one thing –we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis.” (Bangs 1) Elvis not only made significant contributions to the music industry, but he became the most famous idol across the world and in the U.S.A. Elvis Presley was regarded as one of most influential rock n’ roll performers of the century. If you say “The King of Rock” everyone will automatically know you are talking about Elvis Presley. Through his music, Elvis paved the road for African Americans to the music world, and he had essentially revolutionized American society and culture. He went against racism and began a whole new revolution for the music industry.
In the United States between the 1950's and 1960’s, segregation was present between black and white people. African Americans were suffering from racism, particularly in the south where Elvis Presley grew up. In that time, people in the United States were saturated with Jim Crow laws, which was the name of the racial caste system. Besides this, one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions in the 20th century was Brown vs. Board of Education that made a huge change in public schools. Before this decision, black and white people attended separate schools and used separate areas like bathrooms and movie theaters. This action helped to make the Civil Rights Movement (Wallace 107).
Although Elvis was raised in the south, where there was a large amount of racial discrimination, his environment did not negatively impact him. In fact, he was rather positively inspired by African American music, but Elvis’s family was not the best influence on him.
Gladys, Elvis’s mother, worked very hard to keep her family together, but his father, Vernon, was sentenced to three years in prison f...

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