Race and Change the Beatles

Race and Change the Beatles


Friday, January 13, 2017    
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33311

Event Type

Author, media producer, and “Race and Change” oral historian Dr. Kitty Oliver explores a Changing America in the aftermath of the March on Washington as the Civil Rights Movement escalated in the South with an entertaining personal journey that includes a little-known aspect of Florida history -the role played by The Beatles, the world’s biggest band at the time and the first megastars who took a stand against segregation. The Beatles story, and Dr. Oliver’s, is captured in the new Ron Howard-directed documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week –The Touring Years which has been breaking records in movie theaters internationally since it opened in September and is now also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

The presentation includes a specially-edited short segment of the film created for AARLCC audiences. It chronicles the societal upheavals leading up to the British band’s refusal to perform for a segregated audience in Jacksonville, FL, in the 1960s, and Dr. Oliver’s decision to be one of only a handful of Black youth to attend the concert.

Although the Beatles disbanded over 40 years ago to pursue prolific careers separately, and only two of the four members survive today, they continue to have an impact on popular music with references, samplings and collaborations – most notably by Paul McCartney- with artists from Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and De La Soul to Kanye West and Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Macklemore and Rae Sremmurd.

The film segment provides the backdrop for a compelling conversation with Dr. Oliver and scholar Professor Rudy Jean-Bart on the role of youth in Race and Change work, historically, and ways of empowering youth today.  For more information on Dr. Kitty Oliver’s work go to www.kittyoliveronline.com and www.facebook.com/raceandchange.