In this Feb. 18, 1964 file photo, boxer Cassius Clay lifts Beatles member Ringo Starr while the singers visited Clay’s camp in Miami Beach, Fla. Others from left are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. (AP Photo)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Paul McCartney says he met with two of the women who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School, saying the 1957 crisis inspired the Beatles’ hit song “Blackbird.
McCartney performed Saturday to a sold-out crowd in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Afterward, McCartney’s Instagram and Facebook accounts posted a photo of him with Elizabeth Eckford and Thelma Mothershed Wair, two members of the Little Rock Nine.
The photo described the women as “pioneers of the civil rights movement and inspiration for ‘Blackbird.'” McCartney told concertgoers Saturday that he followed the desegregation struggles from England and that he wanted to write a song in support.
The nine Black students integrated Central High School in September 1957 after President Dwight Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort them into the school.