Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Michael Jackson Motivated

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Michael Jackson Motivated

Article excerpt

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. …

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