An uncredited piece in the January 11, 2018 edition of AL.com titled “The Night Nat Cole was Beaten on a Birmingham Stage” recounts the April 10, 1956 evening in Birmingham, Alabama, in which Nat Cole was attacked on stage by local members of the Ku Klux Klan. It is not only an example of our not-so-distant racist past, but also concerns the complexity concerning Cole’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the civil rights movement. Consider this brief excerpt from the article:
“I can’t understand it,” Cole said of the attack. “I have not taken part in any protests. Nor have I joined an organization fighting segregation. Why should they attack me? I’d just like to forget about the whole thing.”
Roy Wilkins, the executive secretary of NAACP sent Cole a telegram after the attack, “You have not been a crusader or engaged in...
January 27th, 2018