You’ll never believe what happened to Nat King Cole when he moved into a white neighborhood

Published On May 22, 2014 | By Admin | Before Dr. King, Entertainment, The latest posts, video

Reported by Liku Zelleke

He is known today as one of the greatest voices of his time and still has people that swear by his unsurpassed musical talent. Nat King Cole was the first black television star. He rose to fame and earned big bucks. He sang to exclusive audiences just as much as he did to the general public, and he was even friends with President John F. Kennedy.

But, when Cole wanted to move into an exclusive, white neighborhood, he was suddenly considered an “undesirable”.

A new documentary about the legendary singer tells of how Cole and his family suffered months of protest from their neighbors when they moved to the exclusive Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.

Cole’s was the first black family in that particular suburb and the first ones to rub shoulders with neighbors like Howard Hughes, Katherine Hepburn and Mae West.

The first thing Cole had to face when they arrived in 1948 was a legal battle with the Hancock Park Property Owners Association, which was trying to prevent Cole from purchasing the house. They failed. In fact, that very same year a US Supreme Court ruling made it illegal to exclude people from moving into or buying property based on racial profiles.

In a secret covenant, that had never been published before, are the statements that declare the homes were for whites only and not for “any person whose blood is not entirely that of the Caucasian race,” the only exception being, of course, the help.

Next, they tried to buy the house from him.

The documentary titled “Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark” will be shown on BBC Four this week and has interviews with Cole’s family and friends.

Among his friends, Harry Belafonte says of those testing times, “It was not an easy time for him or his family, nobody wanted him.”

That would be an understatement considering to what extent Cole’s neighbors were willing to go to in order to make him change his mind about moving in.

One of Cole’s daughter, Carole, who passed away in 2009, said that their lawn was defaced when “they burned in the word ‘N-Word’.”

And then their dog was killed.

So, the next time you’re tempted to pretend that your ancestors have never had a battle on their hands, just listen to one of the stories from the old folks. ┬áIt will set you straight.



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