Rock and Roll history and the FBI

This comment is based on my reaction to an article in BBC Online Newsmagazine
 about the March 21, 1952 concert in Cleveland Ohio.  Considered to be the first Rock and Roll concert by historians it went horribly wrong when tickets for a later event were not printed correctly and many people showed up at an already full concert.  The article is an interesting read just for its historical value however what caught me attention were a couple of items about Alan Freed who was a co-organiser of the event.

A few years later Alan Freed had his nationally ABC television network show cancelled because a black performer (Frankie Lymon) danced with a white young lady on stage which offended some Southern affiliates.  Just one more reminder that racism in one part of a country can have negative consequences for the rest.  It is good that the USA has progressed beyond that level of racism however it is important to remember that there are still many areas for improvement.  And not only with racism but also there is much room for improvement on gender,  LGBT and related issues.

And for absolutely no good reason the FBI ran by J. Edgar Hoover had Alan Freed under surveillance.  According to the article is was because the FBI deemed the records that Freed played to be a threat.  A threat to what? J. Edgar Hoover was more of a threat to a diverse and interesting culture and to basic human liberty.  Whether it was tracking Dr. King or tracking people in the entrainment industry it is clear that Hoover and his minions in the FBI engaged in actions that can be described as vile and despicable.   Perhaps a good reminder should be sent to the FBI and the rest of the government by having an policy that any building owned or controlled by any government agency which is named after or commemorates  J. Edgar Hoover  should be renamed. 

No comments: