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  #1  
Old 02 May 2008, 09:24 PM
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Icon13 Blacks not allowed at Disneyland until the 1970s

Comment: Our office manager will not take her kids to Disneyland because
she was told that African Americans were not allowed there up until the
1970s. Is this true?
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  #2  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:11 PM
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I can't find any cite for it but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. I don't know much about American History but wasn't segregation still alive well into the 60s? If so, then maybe Disney just didn't want to "alienate" their white audience who might not go there if blacks were around, whatever percentage that demographic might be.
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  #3  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discouraged One View Post
I can't find any cite for it but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. I don't know much about American History but wasn't segregation still alive well into the 60s? If so, then maybe Disney just didn't want to "alienate" their white audience who might not go there if blacks were around, whatever percentage that demographic might be.
If one of the major family entertainment destinations servicing the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a policy of excluding blacks into the 1960s/70s, there would be plenty of cites for it.

- snopes
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  #4  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: Our office manager will not take her kids to Disneyland because
she was told that African Americans were not allowed there up until the
1970s. Is this true?
Even if it was true, it's over 30 years ago. Get over it. Maybe she should fight against some injustice that is still happening.
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  #5  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
If one of the major family entertainment destinations servicing the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a policy of excluding blacks into the 1960s/70s, there would be plenty of cites for it.
I'm looking for a cite for it, to no avail. I'll keep searching though. The only hit I've found, discarding those about how Walt Disney was racist/racist Disney Characters, was a short news about how 4 black teens were ejected from Disney World because of their anti-loitering, anti-gang policy.
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  #6  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discouraged One View Post
I'm looking for a cite for it, to no avail. I'll keep searching though.
Let be more clear: You won't find any cites for it (other than people repeating the rumor) because it isn't true. If it were true, your first search would turn up several hundred Google hits on the subject.

- snopes
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  #7  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:31 PM
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Disney

From the previous board:
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/u...0;t=000374;p=1
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  #8  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, seems like I would have gotten that in the (very) long run. I did however, manage to find a link of it full of comments, some FOAF stories, even a link to an archived snopes thread. So it seems that there wasn't segregation.
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  #9  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:48 PM
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It's incredibly unlikely that such a high profile place as Disney World/Land could have violated the '63 Civil Rights Act without sanction.
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  #10  
Old 02 May 2008, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Let be more clear: You won't find any cites for it (other than people repeating the rumor) because it isn't true. If it were true, your first search would turn up several hundred Google hits on the subject.
Shh. You don't want to discourage him.

Victoria J
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  #11  
Old 03 May 2008, 12:03 AM
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This site claims:
Quote:
Sadly, history reminds us that Disneyland and most other amusement parks were SEGREGATED in those days.
but there's no citation for the "history."
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  #12  
Old 03 May 2008, 03:50 AM
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I've been scouring the Yesterland.com website for the last few minutes looking for tangible evidence of black people in Disneyland pre-1970.

This looks like it's from the 70s, judging from the clothing, and can't be earlier than 1967. Also, having an African-American employee wouldn't preclude Disney from not allowing black people in there.

There appears to be an African-American leaning on the rails at the Coca-Cola stage, wearing a light blue and white shirt. The picture must have been taken some time between 1967 and the renovation of the stage in 1998, although it looks to me like it this was also from the 70s or *maybe* the early 80s.



I'm having a real time finding blacks in these pictures, though, for a couple reasons:

1. A lot of the pictures are of an entire attraction and as such the people in them are very, very tiny and in many cases hard to discern outside of their hair color and clothing.

2. Even in the pics with folks in the foreground there just aren't very many blacks in there. I do see a few Asians and lots and lots of white people but no blacks.

I don't think that Disneyland excluded black people. Snopes is right; if they did, there would have been some pretty big stories about it somewhere (googling "1960s Disneyland racism" brings up this thread as the #2 hit). I do think that there was a de facto, class-based exclusion of blacks and other minorities in the 50s and beyond, and the publicity stills distributed by the Walt Disney Co. don't have a single black patron I can find until the 80s at least.

ETA: Here are a couple images of competitors practicing for the Aunt Jemima Pancake Competition in




I am not 100% certain, however, that the African-American clearly depicted in the background was someone the park would have let in had they not been sponsoring this particular event.

Last edited by Johnny Slick; 03 May 2008 at 04:04 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03 May 2008, 04:05 AM
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Louis Armstrong performed for a "Wonderful World of Color" episode in 1962 (Disneyland After Dark)--something I rather doubt he would have agreed to do if blacks were not allowed in the park during that time.

~Psihala
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  #14  
Old 03 May 2008, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
Louis Armstrong performed for a "Wonderful World of Color" episode in 1962 (Disneyland After Dark)--something I rather doubt he would have agreed to do if blacks were not allowed in the park during that time.
Not to completely play devil's advocate here (and I want to say this now: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) but Louis Armstrong was not particularly well-known for refusing gigs because of racist policies. In fact, he was derided by some for trying too hard to play up to racist white audiences. I don't particularly agree with those sentiments - I think he was more Joe Louis than Uncle Tom - but he wasn't the first person you'd think of when you look at black performers who refuse to play at segregated locations (he did, FWIW, refuse to tour the Soviet Union in protest to President Eisenhower's policies).
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  #15  
Old 03 May 2008, 05:15 AM
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This page shows a photo that includes a black woman (I was going to type "African-American" there, but then I thought, how do I know she was American..?) in the foreground; in the background is the Mickey Mouse Club Theater in Fantasyland, which, as the article explains, had its name changed in 1964 to the Fantasyland Theater. So there's at least something.
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  #16  
Old 03 May 2008, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discouraged One View Post
I don't know much about American History but wasn't segregation still alive well into the 60s?
Not in California. At least not officially.
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  #17  
Old 03 May 2008, 06:32 AM
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This is like playing "Where's Waldo", only with black people. Where are you seeing the black woman, EQT?
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  #18  
Old 03 May 2008, 06:43 AM
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There's someone who appears to be black underneath the first arch from the left, just next to the handle-shaped things on the second pole.
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  #19  
Old 03 May 2008, 10:36 AM
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Disney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Slick View Post
This is like playing "Where's Waldo", only with black people. Where are you seeing the black woman, EQT?
It's a girl, and she's in the second photo on the page. You can't miss her if you're looking at the correct photo, because she is nearly centered, and it's fairly close up.
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  #20  
Old 03 May 2008, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
It's incredibly unlikely that such a high profile place as Disney World/Land could have violated the '63 Civil Rights Act without sanction.
1964, not 1963.
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