The Arts

Urban legends about racism in the arts.

Works of art and popular culture are powerful means of expressing, affirming, or contradicting prejudicial attitudes and outlook.


Red bullet The band name 311 masks sinister ties to white supremacy, because 'K' is the eleventh letter of the alphabet, and three times 'K' equals 311.*

Green bullet The Disney film Song of the South has never been released on home video in the USA.*

Red bullet Comedian Bill Cosby bought up the rights to The Little Rascals comedies to keep their racial stereotypes off TV.*

Red bullet Singer Elvis Presley once said: "The only thing a nigger can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes."*

Green bullet Elvis Presley's backup singers walked out on a concert after he made a crack that their breath "smelled like catfish.*

Red bullet Singer Lauryn Hill declared during an interview: "I would rather die than have a white person buy one of my albums."*

Red bullet A black woman served as the model for the Statue of Liberty.*

Green bullet The portrayal of a black character in a Dennis the Menace cartoon prompted outbursts of violence and apologies from newspapers that published it.


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