Rock Against Racism

A LOT of people do not know the reasoning behind the Rock Against Racism music festival that was held in the UK in 1976 and 1978.  The festivals featured tons of bands singing about anti-racism themes and the 1976 concert was the first to mix white and black bands together at one show.  The concert was put together in response to racist comments made by musicians.  One in which, was Eric Clapton.  Yes, Eric Clapton.  The man who would not exist if it were not for blues music which was created primarily in the African-American communities of the South in the late 19th Century.  During Eric Clapton’s concert in Birmingham, he told his audience that England was becoming “over crowded” and that they should vote for Enoch Powell to stop Britain from becoming a “Black Colony.”  He also went on to state that Britain needs to get all of the foreigners, “wogs” and “coons” out of Britain and then repeatedly shouted, “Keep Britain white!”  This man then has the audacity to take pictures with one of the greatest guitarists, B.B. King.  David Bowie was also another musician who helped fuel the founders of this festival, Red Saunders and Roger Huddle, into turning Rock Against Racism into a reality instead of just an idea.  In an interview with Playboy Magazine, David Bowie stated, “Britain is ready for a fascist leader… I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism… I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership.” He was also quoted as saying, “Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”  Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League put together their biggest concert in the Spring of 1978.  100,000 people marched six miles from Trafalgar Square through London’s East End – the heart of National Front territory – to a Rock Against Racism concert in Victoria Park, Hackney, which featured the bands The Clash, X-Ray, The Ruts and Generation X.  These music festivals played a huge role in stopping racism going on in Britain and putting an end to the fascist ideologies that many of Britain’s citizens felt passionately about.  This concert proved that through music, anything is possible.



1 Comment

  1. ;”, I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information `~,

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