Michael Jackson motivated.
|Author:||Carr, Firpo W.|
|Publication:||Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601|
|Issue:||Date: March 30, 2010 Source Volume: 3 Source Issue: 7|
|Persons:||Named Person: Jackson, Michael (American pop singer)|
As a songwriter Michael Jackson tapped into an endless stream of
consciousness. Whether it was romance, politics, social awareness,
environmental concerns, good for the global community, spiritual
awakening, religious conundrums, or any number of other topics in the
ebb and flow of life, it should not escape our notice, that the main
theme of the stream was love.
Wittingly or unwittingly, as an African American, Michael Jackson facilitated the dissemination of American culture trans-nationally. Such dispersion was not always appreciated. For example, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jackson's music was banned in communist Russia. Simultaneously, the speeches of fellow African American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were held in high esteem by the Supreme Soviet or Politburo, the nation's governing council. This apparent contradiction can be reconciled when one considers that Jackson was perceived as propagating the American way, while King was openly critical of it. Several years after the Soviet structure imploded in 1989, Michael Jackson became the very internationally-known superstar to tour post-Soviet-era Russia, eventually releasing the film short Stranger in Moscow in 1996. Both these events endeared him to the Russian people, who became especially enamored with him after his death in 2009.
For all intents and purposes, Michael Jackson was apolitical. Being raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, he respected the right of everyone to express him or herself politically, but he chose to abstain from the process. He called himself a theocratic who was an advocate of God's kingdom--the same one that millions have prayed for in the Lord's Prayer. (Matthew 6:9-12). He saw this heavenly government as the only solution or panacea for all the ills facing humankind. 'I know this world is beyond repair,' he would say, 'but, as long as I'm here, I want to make it a better place.'
Often overlooked is Michael's insatiable intellectual curiosity. He was the proud owner of a personal library containing over one million volumes. As he toured and otherwise visited country after country he would invariably visit old book stores and nearly deplete their stock of rare or out-of-print books. He was not merely a book collector. He examined the book first and thereafter made every effort to read at least portions of it. While it is doubtful that he got around to examining all the books in his mega-library, one would be hard pressed to select a volume that he did not have at least a modicum of familiarity with.
While some may argue that Jackson suffered a racial identity crisis, a careful examination of his persona reveals otherwise. Though he loved the entire human family, Michael Jackson was a proud Black man. His parents raised him to be such. In fact, if one were to visit the homes of family members one would be immediately struck with the African theme therein. This appreciation for African culture--from which Michael originated--was woven into the very fabric of his soul. Some misinterpreted his actions--thinking that he was trying to adjust his genetics--as skin lighteners were applied to his epidermis in an attempt to even out the unsightly, patchy dark-light contrasts caused by the skin condition vitiligo.
His face was particularly affected by this disorder. As the world's most popular entertain, Jackson was extremely self-conscious about the embarrassing discoloration. And that he was accused of trying to be White caused him great mental anguish, further exacerbating the situation. He found it unfathomable that certain ones in the media would level charges at him of trying to switch races when everyone knew that he was a Black man. It was unimaginable; too, that anyone would accuse and charge him with child molestation.
In 1993, Dr. Evan Chandler, a Beverly Hills dentist, put his 13-year-old son Jordan up to falsely accusing Michael of child molestation according to Geraldine Hughes, a secretary for the attorney that represented the Chandlers. The entire plot is outlined in her book, Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestations (1994). The elder Chandler committed suicide shortly after the death of Michael Jackson. Although there has been much debate over whether or not Jordan admitted to lying about the entire affair, Hughes reports that the younger Chandler admitted that he was lying back in 1993. Despite Michael's innocence, his own attorney, the late Johnny Cochran, advised him to settle out of court. What is not common knowledge is that Michael never paid any money from his personal wealth. Instead, his insurance company did. Again, according to Hughes, it was not anywhere near the $22 million that has been reported.
What led to the King of Pop's being vulnerable to accusations of child molestation was his innocent attempt to capture a childhood that "fate" denied him. Because Joseph Jackson, Michael's alert and perceptive father, recognized the extraordinary talent in the sensitive young genius, Mr. Jackson placed demands on all his sons, but Michael in particular. Stardom dictated that his childhood would be like few others. A rigorous schedule of practice and performances shielded a young Michael from the traditional classroom. Homeschooling and tutors would take its place.--
Not having what should have been "childhood friends" left a hallow place in his history. Such a void apparently manifested itself even in his body language. One noted body language expert, Dr. Lillian Glass of Beverly Hills, California, suggests that his emotional growth was stunted during childhood. "It is not surprising, then, that he desperately wanted to pick up emotionally where he left off as a child"; hence, his desire to associated with, not only little boys, but little girls as well. For example, my daughter, Danielle Carr, was a young teenager when she was invited to Neverland, along with Michael's nieces and nephews. The media, wittingly or unwittingly, have carefully overlooked reporting that Michael Jackson sought innocuous association with little girls as well.
Seeing the world through childlike eyes did not always serve the Gloved One well, and being raised to think of all races as part of the human family set him up for the harsh realities of racism in the music industry. Indeed, the music business had its very own disturbing underbelly. In his book Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business (1990), author Fredric Dannen reveals: "Since the Depression the Mafia has played a key role in artist management and booking, especially of black performers." After decades of apparently not truly perceiving discrimination, Michael was finally confronted with it later in his career. It contributed to his depression and sullen outlook on life. What really kept him alive and well was his closeness to "Jehovah God," as he would put it.
Michael Jackson's music has touched a global audience as never before. Those who were casually interested are now clinging to the Gloved One, and the love long-time loyal fans has for him has only deepened. For a long time to come, Michael Joseph Jackson will live through, not his physical body, but his enduring body of music.
Dannen, Fredric. Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business. New York: Times Books, 1990.
Hughes, Geraldine. Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations. Radford, VA: Branch & Vine Publishers, 2004.
Jackson, Michael. Stranger in Moscow (compact disc). New York, NY: Epic, 1997.
Firpo W. Carr, Ph.D.
Scholar Technological Institute of Research, Inc.
Firpo W. Carr (email@example.com) is a best-selling author who resides in the Los Angeles area, and who hails originally from Watts via South-Central. He is an internationally known author, scholar, lecturer, former radio show producer, former radio show host, university instructor, documentary producer/writer/director, and investigative journalist. Dr. Carr is also the author of the perennial bestseller, Germany's Black Holocaust: 1890-1945, and has been a columnist for the Los Angeles Sentinel since 2005.
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