Of race, of belonging, and of breaking barriers big and small: Why I mourn the loss of Michael Jackson

This post was written by Susan Serrano, our research director here at EJS from 2001-2005. Susan is now the Director of Educational Development, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, at the University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law.

Over the last few days, I’ve searched my heart and mind to figure out why I’m so emotional about Michael Jackson’s death. I mean, it’s not like I knew him . . . or even followed his career in many years.

Friends in my age group say that it’s because his music helped to define our childhood. Others say it’s because his death signifies the end of a chapter of our lives. Yet others say that it’s because his songs conjure deep memories of the past.

All of those things are true. So are the memories of the Michael Jackson concert I went to in 1997 with my closest friends, the zillion times I played “Thriller” on my record player, and the way I almost wore out our Betamax VCR playing his videos. And, of course, I’m emotional because I feel sorry for his tortured life and much-too-early death. But for me, there’s something more.

I’m half Japanese American and half Puerto Rican – and quite Afro-Puerto Rican, at that. I grew up in a small, very-predominantly white town – Petaluma, California – with my single mom. Playing with my friends was fun. We all had white baby dolls. We all had blond Barbies. We acted out Grease. We loved Shaun Cassidy. We read Tiger Beat and kissed all the handsome, young, white movie stars that graced the pages. We got “Physical” to Olivia Newton John.

But I never saw anyone in my image. No teachers. No parents. No friends. No role models. At that time, there may have been many white ethnic groups in Petaluma, but a diverse place it was not.

Some kids called me “nigger.” Others called me “Jap” (making sure to make squinty-eyes with their fingers while they were saying it). Others told racial jokes in my presence as if it didn’t matter that I was there.

One girl said that if she ever brought a non-white boy home, her dad said he would get out the shotgun. Even those important adults (teachers, parents and others) who were well-meaning, inadvertently said things that made me feel even more different – and excluded.

I was full of self-hate. I straightened my hair. I wore the whitest powder on my face I could manage. I lied about my race. I envied my white friends. I wished on stars that I could be white – somehow. I even asked my mom why she couldn’t have married a white guy so I could have come out different. Some days, I felt as though I lived in my own private hell.

Then came the force that was Michael Jackson. He was Black. He was handsome. He was a superstar. We all learned how to moonwalk. We watched his videos over and over . . . and over. We bought his records, his posters. White girls screamed for him. White girls.

For the first time in my short and undeveloped life, I breathed a sigh of relief. If white girls could have crushes on an African American man, that must mean that being non-white was OK. Maybe I was OK. Maybe the standard of beauty wasn’t blond hair and blue eyes – maybe I could look more like the African American girl in the “Thriller” video – and that was OK.

For the first time, I really realized that there were people out there who looked more like me, and they were well-loved, popular, and real.

I know, almost all kids and teens go through a “stage.” They feel like they don’t belong. They get teased. But this is not just about zits or baby fat. This is about race. And race in America comes with a long history of exclusion, occupation, segregation, discrimination.

So, the fact that Michael Jackson broke down barriers, integrated music television, crossed-over, transcended, spoke to the masses, was – and is – a big deal. For the U.S. and the world.

And while Michael was throwing open the doors of opportunity in the entertainment business, he was giving me the confidence as a young woman of color to stand tall and go on. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Of course, Michael Jackson did not single-handedly solve my – or anyone else’s – racial issues. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes not in a lifetime. The wounds of American racial history run deep. And, ironically, Michael suffered from his own intense version of self-hate.

But that doesn’t matter to me now. All I remember is that fast-footed, sparkling-gloved, sweet-voiced Black man who helped launch me into adolescence just a little less ashamed of who I was.

And that is why I mourn his passing.

Thank you, Michael, for what you gave me . . . and the world. Rest in peace.

– Susan K. Serrano

42 thoughts on “Of race, of belonging, and of breaking barriers big and small: Why I mourn the loss of Michael Jackson

  1. Thank you Susan for putting these feelings into words and sharing it with us! Before Obama, Tiger Woods, and Oprah, there was Michael Jackson. Rest in peace MJ.

  2. Thank you Susan for putting these feelings into words and sharing it with us! Before Obama, Tiger Woods, and Oprah, there was Michael Jackson. Rest in peace MJ.

  3. Hi,

    I am too old to have had Micheal Jackson as a musical hero. Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Jackie Wilson and Al Green are my favorites. I have never thought of Hendrix as black or The Beatles as white but simply as muscians of immense talent. Jackson clearly possed unbelieveable talent singer,dancer and choreographer supreme. Hero however I am afraid not. When he denied being gay in interviews he seemed to imply that being gay was wrong or undesireable. His constant plastic surgery and skin bleaching did not seem the actions associated with someone comfortable in his own skin. Musical giant no doubt, unique talent without question but racial hero I’m afraid not. We are blessed with a true racial consciousness hero in our present history making president. Let’s regonize and revel in the real thing. I mourn Micheal’s passing as I mourn all God’s children who pass on. I regret that under the bling and the image, the substance might not have been the stuff deserved of admiration and imitation. Too many in our country worship the material and ephemeral. Death does not transform the shallows into the deep. I realize that haters will call this post racist and meanminded. Believe when I tell you that I would wish nothing but good for a gentle artist like Jackson. It is just that I would rather my children look to Obama or Colin Powell as a role model. I want my and all children to respect life, freedom, and indiviualism. I do not want them to respect mindless wealth self indulgence or exclusionary social thinking.

  4. Hi,

    I am too old to have had Micheal Jackson as a musical hero. Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Jackie Wilson and Al Green are my favorites. I have never thought of Hendrix as black or The Beatles as white but simply as muscians of immense talent. Jackson clearly possed unbelieveable talent singer,dancer and choreographer supreme. Hero however I am afraid not. When he denied being gay in interviews he seemed to imply that being gay was wrong or undesireable. His constant plastic surgery and skin bleaching did not seem the actions associated with someone comfortable in his own skin. Musical giant no doubt, unique talent without question but racial hero I’m afraid not. We are blessed with a true racial consciousness hero in our present history making president. Let’s regonize and revel in the real thing. I mourn Micheal’s passing as I mourn all God’s children who pass on. I regret that under the bling and the image, the substance might not have been the stuff deserved of admiration and imitation. Too many in our country worship the material and ephemeral. Death does not transform the shallows into the deep. I realize that haters will call this post racist and meanminded. Believe when I tell you that I would wish nothing but good for a gentle artist like Jackson. It is just that I would rather my children look to Obama or Colin Powell as a role model. I want my and all children to respect life, freedom, and indiviualism. I do not want them to respect mindless wealth self indulgence or exclusionary social thinking.

  5. Beautifully expressed. This is the best reflection I have read about Michael Jackson’s impact. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Beautifully expressed. This is the best reflection I have read about Michael Jackson’s impact. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  7. Wow! Susan, that was a powerful piece. Thank you for sharing that. You struck a lot of familiar chords with me. I think one of the greatest difficulties we have in a “post racial” America, is getting folks who never have to think about race to understand what it is like to be constantly reminded about your race.

  8. Wow! Susan, that was a powerful piece. Thank you for sharing that. You struck a lot of familiar chords with me. I think one of the greatest difficulties we have in a “post racial” America, is getting folks who never have to think about race to understand what it is like to be constantly reminded about your race.

  9. I like the IDEA of Jimi Hendrix, but will get up and dance if it’s MJ. Now Susan Serrano, that is the sublime combination of idea and dance, in prose and in fact. Thanks for honest writing.

  10. I like the IDEA of Jimi Hendrix, but will get up and dance if it’s MJ. Now Susan Serrano, that is the sublime combination of idea and dance, in prose and in fact. Thanks for honest writing.

  11. This was wonderful, thank you Susan. This helped me to come to terms as to why I am so acutely feeling the loss of Michael Jackson, someone I never knew personally, yet am deeply mourning. I watched the memorial on TV and cried throughout the entire thing. I just feels unfair and too soon for him to be gone. I think he still had a lot of good to do. And the good he has done far outshines any of the shadows placed upon him by others. Thank you,

  12. This was wonderful, thank you Susan. This helped me to come to terms as to why I am so acutely feeling the loss of Michael Jackson, someone I never knew personally, yet am deeply mourning. I watched the memorial on TV and cried throughout the entire thing. I just feels unfair and too soon for him to be gone. I think he still had a lot of good to do. And the good he has done far outshines any of the shadows placed upon him by others. Thank you,

  13. What a great article that speaks for so many people of color I am sure. We have come a long in America but the irony here is that as great as Michael was he still got what Paul Mooney called his “Nigger Wake Up Call”.
    Although he denies the skin bleaching and the related issue we know through the history of music many great black artist had to dumb down to cross over, or if they were men they had to bring out the feminine spirit as to not be so threatening to really get a certain level of exposure; both Prince and Michael were the only artist to get MTV exposure in the early days and both had to fine tune their image to do it. Prince was actually managed by the ownership of MTV at one time, 40 yrs later and it is Little Richard all over again, certainly this kind of social distortion had an impact on people like Michael but he survived and kept his heart in the right place, never forgetting that his gift was to contribute to make the world a better place and help relieve suffering.
    Unfortunately the ignorance expressed even here in this forum by people like Rosenberg, etc who fail to understand the dilemma of race, politics and the entertainment industry exhibit the same type of mentality that Michael had to be burdened with, no matter how much money and fame he got, teh one thing he probably wanted most was to eradicate that kind of thinking, but no not even people like him can do that kind of work, but he certainly brought us that much closer to healing the world and bringing us all together, well almost everybody.
    RIP Michael We luv Ya

  14. What a great article that speaks for so many people of color I am sure. We have come a long in America but the irony here is that as great as Michael was he still got what Paul Mooney called his “Nigger Wake Up Call”.
    Although he denies the skin bleaching and the related issue we know through the history of music many great black artist had to dumb down to cross over, or if they were men they had to bring out the feminine spirit as to not be so threatening to really get a certain level of exposure; both Prince and Michael were the only artist to get MTV exposure in the early days and both had to fine tune their image to do it. Prince was actually managed by the ownership of MTV at one time, 40 yrs later and it is Little Richard all over again, certainly this kind of social distortion had an impact on people like Michael but he survived and kept his heart in the right place, never forgetting that his gift was to contribute to make the world a better place and help relieve suffering.
    Unfortunately the ignorance expressed even here in this forum by people like Rosenberg, etc who fail to understand the dilemma of race, politics and the entertainment industry exhibit the same type of mentality that Michael had to be burdened with, no matter how much money and fame he got, teh one thing he probably wanted most was to eradicate that kind of thinking, but no not even people like him can do that kind of work, but he certainly brought us that much closer to healing the world and bringing us all together, well almost everybody.
    RIP Michael We luv Ya

  15. I enjoyed your piece. I, too, was taken aback by the impact Michael Jackson’s death has had on me. I haven’t followed his music since the late 80’s, yet his death has has touched me as if he was a member of my family. Michael Jackson was undoubtedly one of the greatest entertainers in the world, but he was clearly more then that.. I am glad he is being acknowledged for his tremendous charitable giving and I hope it will lead to greater appreciation for the sacrifices he endured to remain true to himself.

  16. I enjoyed your piece. I, too, was taken aback by the impact Michael Jackson’s death has had on me. I haven’t followed his music since the late 80’s, yet his death has has touched me as if he was a member of my family. Michael Jackson was undoubtedly one of the greatest entertainers in the world, but he was clearly more then that.. I am glad he is being acknowledged for his tremendous charitable giving and I hope it will lead to greater appreciation for the sacrifices he endured to remain true to himself.

  17. It took me a few days after Michael Jackson’s death to actually feel anything. I have been angry at him for allowing himself to be in situations that gave the impression that something untoward was going on, and I had gotten to the point that I could no longer look at a face that had been so disfigured. Then I took a moment to post elsewhere online, and realized exactly what Michael Jackson had meant to my life, and suddenly found the feelings that were eluding me.

    Michael Jackson made me, a young Black woman at the time, who grew up in an area not unlike the author of this piece, who truly enjoyed rock music feel better about myself. On Thriller, Michael put the rock guitar front and center, integrating rock into the R&B style he had been known for. I felt validated in a way I had not been before, and felt I could come out of the proverbial closet! I will forever be grateful to Michael for this, as I know other’s will be as well.

    As for what he may or may not have done to his skin? I have a theory that has little to do with racial self hatred, and a whole lot to do with Michael looking at himself in the mirror as it were, and being unhappy with the at least somewhat severe acne scarring he had from his teen years, and possibly going too far with chemical peels and laser treatments. Again, that is just my opinion, and since I doubt his dermatologist would ever speak to me, I will never know how close I am to the truth. Regardless, no matter what color Michael’s skin became, he never stopped being a Black man, so to say that he tried to erase his race, to me is a far too superficial take on a man with what were reportedly some deep seated issues.

    Anyway, I want to thank the author for opening her heart and mind, as there were points in which I thought she was reading my mind!

  18. It took me a few days after Michael Jackson’s death to actually feel anything. I have been angry at him for allowing himself to be in situations that gave the impression that something untoward was going on, and I had gotten to the point that I could no longer look at a face that had been so disfigured. Then I took a moment to post elsewhere online, and realized exactly what Michael Jackson had meant to my life, and suddenly found the feelings that were eluding me.

    Michael Jackson made me, a young Black woman at the time, who grew up in an area not unlike the author of this piece, who truly enjoyed rock music feel better about myself. On Thriller, Michael put the rock guitar front and center, integrating rock into the R&B style he had been known for. I felt validated in a way I had not been before, and felt I could come out of the proverbial closet! I will forever be grateful to Michael for this, as I know other’s will be as well.

    As for what he may or may not have done to his skin? I have a theory that has little to do with racial self hatred, and a whole lot to do with Michael looking at himself in the mirror as it were, and being unhappy with the at least somewhat severe acne scarring he had from his teen years, and possibly going too far with chemical peels and laser treatments. Again, that is just my opinion, and since I doubt his dermatologist would ever speak to me, I will never know how close I am to the truth. Regardless, no matter what color Michael’s skin became, he never stopped being a Black man, so to say that he tried to erase his race, to me is a far too superficial take on a man with what were reportedly some deep seated issues.

    Anyway, I want to thank the author for opening her heart and mind, as there were points in which I thought she was reading my mind!

  19. I agree with the others who responded before me. Susan, the way that your words expressed how you felt touched my spirit. It seems that no matter what we are born with, most of find things about our natural physical characteristics to pick ourselves apart with. We torture ourselves over our hair, skin color and features. This is when we begin go deeper into self hatred. I won’t even speak about the negative messages received from others, family, friends, strangers (who certainly for the most part, feel the same things about themselves as we all do) and the media whose portrayal of beauty is the barometer for what is beautiful and what is not. Again, thank you for putting the difficult feelings into words.

  20. I agree with the others who responded before me. Susan, the way that your words expressed how you felt touched my spirit. It seems that no matter what we are born with, most of find things about our natural physical characteristics to pick ourselves apart with. We torture ourselves over our hair, skin color and features. This is when we begin go deeper into self hatred. I won’t even speak about the negative messages received from others, family, friends, strangers (who certainly for the most part, feel the same things about themselves as we all do) and the media whose portrayal of beauty is the barometer for what is beautiful and what is not. Again, thank you for putting the difficult feelings into words.

  21. Exactly, as a 44 year old mixed race-Native American and Black who grew up in a large white community being called “nigger” you hit the nail on the head. Also, hearing and learning of Michael’s personal abuse by his father also gives a level of understanding to those who care to try. Your words are greatly appreciated.

  22. Exactly, as a 44 year old mixed race-Native American and Black who grew up in a large white community being called “nigger” you hit the nail on the head. Also, hearing and learning of Michael’s personal abuse by his father also gives a level of understanding to those who care to try. Your words are greatly appreciated.

  23. Hi Susan,

    Your reflections are so personal yet so universal, thank you! You put in words what many people of color especially are feeling and experiencing at Michael’s death.

    His extraordinary genius in music, dance and video came into our living rooms consequently our consciousness and emotions for over 40 years; and so did his personal struggle. It is likely that global people of color relate to Michael Jackson the man and Michael Jackson the music genius very differently than whites do.

    In the fall of 1969 the Jackson 5 released their first album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. Less than 2 years before Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated April 4, 1968. A little more than 4 years before that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment; conceived to help African Americans and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; that same year “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” is written and recorded by James Brown in 1968 and later included on a 1969 album of the same name. As Julie Andrews said, “these are a few of my favorite things!”

    The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson are the phoenix rising up from the ashes of white patriarchy tyranny of the 60 and 70’s. The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson are inextricable from American racism history and enduring reality. Incidentally, thank you so much for sharing your own experience in American racism.

    Unlike many other black political, academia or entertainment celebrities et.al also ascending from that era, what is more extraordinary about Michael Jackson is that people of color, which I believe relate to Michael from a different standpoint, watched Michael visually morph into the internalized racism battle which global people of color fight, on some level.

    Globally white patriarchy tyranny requires and demands abnegation of all other ethnic, cultural and religious identity especially in America. Abnegating ones unique identity to conform to colonialist ideology a.k.a. American Dream ideology and ambition is esteemed and measured as the highest form of patriotism possible. Consequently, as citizens of this union we each assimilate by force and/or choice in varying degree and points to their imperialist xenophobic capitalism schema. None are immune.

    Michael Jackson’s transformation over the years to be as “visually” close to white as he possible could through skin color, nose shape, straightened hair, chin and jaw structure, and ultimately in adopting white children, I believe, represents the most vivid extreme form of ocular assimilation there could possibly be. On the other hand, my patronage of Denny’s Restaurant, however unassuming, from time-to-time at odd hours of the night after getting my groove on at a local club is another form of assimilation, albeit economic enculturation.

    It is not a far stretch to contend that Michael’s radical “physical” assimilation was ultimately the manifestation of his internal equally fraught “psychological” assimilation. To Michael’s defense [though not really needed], in my community and professional work, advocacy and activist experience I have met quite a few people of color – academics particularly – that may not have transformed their external appearance to whiteness but they were as, if not more, psychologically white as Michael was visually.

    Michael’s denial of his psychological and physical identity is not unique; likewise denial of his transgender identity is not unique either; a subject few pundits seem courageous enough to broach. How can we deny that Michael also gradually transformed from M-to-F while going from black-to-white. For years I relaxed and straightened my hair; I’ve even worn colored contact lens; and torturously struggled with my bi-sexuality.

    Globally people of color are assimilated and in denial; the degree, level, scale and intensity differs. None are immune.

    Michael, “you are not alone” if truth be told.

    Millions of people are impacted by Michael’s death for as many reasons be it complex or simple. People of color no doubt are impacted for reasons uniquely different than those comprehend by whites.

  24. Hi Susan,

    Your reflections are so personal yet so universal, thank you! You put in words what many people of color especially are feeling and experiencing at Michael’s death.

    His extraordinary genius in music, dance and video came into our living rooms consequently our consciousness and emotions for over 40 years; and so did his personal struggle. It is likely that global people of color relate to Michael Jackson the man and Michael Jackson the music genius very differently than whites do.

    In the fall of 1969 the Jackson 5 released their first album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. Less than 2 years before Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated April 4, 1968. A little more than 4 years before that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment; conceived to help African Americans and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; that same year “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” is written and recorded by James Brown in 1968 and later included on a 1969 album of the same name. As Julie Andrews said, “these are a few of my favorite things!”

    The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson are the phoenix rising up from the ashes of white patriarchy tyranny of the 60 and 70’s. The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson are inextricable from American racism history and enduring reality. Incidentally, thank you so much for sharing your own experience in American racism.

    Unlike many other black political, academia or entertainment celebrities et.al also ascending from that era, what is more extraordinary about Michael Jackson is that people of color, which I believe relate to Michael from a different standpoint, watched Michael visually morph into the internalized racism battle which global people of color fight, on some level.

    Globally white patriarchy tyranny requires and demands abnegation of all other ethnic, cultural and religious identity especially in America. Abnegating ones unique identity to conform to colonialist ideology a.k.a. American Dream ideology and ambition is esteemed and measured as the highest form of patriotism possible. Consequently, as citizens of this union we each assimilate by force and/or choice in varying degree and points to their imperialist xenophobic capitalism schema. None are immune.

    Michael Jackson’s transformation over the years to be as “visually” close to white as he possible could through skin color, nose shape, straightened hair, chin and jaw structure, and ultimately in adopting white children, I believe, represents the most vivid extreme form of ocular assimilation there could possibly be. On the other hand, my patronage of Denny’s Restaurant, however unassuming, from time-to-time at odd hours of the night after getting my groove on at a local club is another form of assimilation, albeit economic enculturation.

    It is not a far stretch to contend that Michael’s radical “physical” assimilation was ultimately the manifestation of his internal equally fraught “psychological” assimilation. To Michael’s defense [though not really needed], in my community and professional work, advocacy and activist experience I have met quite a few people of color – academics particularly – that may not have transformed their external appearance to whiteness but they were as, if not more, psychologically white as Michael was visually.

    Michael’s denial of his psychological and physical identity is not unique; likewise denial of his transgender identity is not unique either; a subject few pundits seem courageous enough to broach. How can we deny that Michael also gradually transformed from M-to-F while going from black-to-white. For years I relaxed and straightened my hair; I’ve even worn colored contact lens; and torturously struggled with my bi-sexuality.

    Globally people of color are assimilated and in denial; the degree, level, scale and intensity differs. None are immune.

    Michael, “you are not alone” if truth be told.

    Millions of people are impacted by Michael’s death for as many reasons be it complex or simple. People of color no doubt are impacted for reasons uniquely different than those comprehend by whites.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing about your experience and love for Micheal Jackson and his legacy. We could all learn from your insightful and beautiful words.

  26. Thanks so much for sharing about your experience and love for Micheal Jackson and his legacy. We could all learn from your insightful and beautiful words.

  27. Thanks Susan for sharing your story and version of why you mourn Michael Jackson’s passing. Your experience over the years has been like a lot of whites over the years; however, I see that as you have grown, so have a lot of others. Michael had so much love, giving and non-hate in him that God created him, just as he did allof us to have a place here on earth to deliver to all mankind how important it is for us as a people to have love towards one another and who better to do that than Michael. Eventhough taking him back so soon is a reminder to us. Something Great, whatever color you may be; if this person can bring out the best in you, then take it,hold on to it, share it and I’m quite sure he/his legacy has changed your life forever so that you can enter into a better place also. Go in peace, love and happiness my sister and keep on thanking God for Michael Jackson.

  28. Thanks Susan for sharing your story and version of why you mourn Michael Jackson’s passing. Your experience over the years has been like a lot of whites over the years; however, I see that as you have grown, so have a lot of others. Michael had so much love, giving and non-hate in him that God created him, just as he did allof us to have a place here on earth to deliver to all mankind how important it is for us as a people to have love towards one another and who better to do that than Michael. Eventhough taking him back so soon is a reminder to us. Something Great, whatever color you may be; if this person can bring out the best in you, then take it,hold on to it, share it and I’m quite sure he/his legacy has changed your life forever so that you can enter into a better place also. Go in peace, love and happiness my sister and keep on thanking God for Michael Jackson.

  29. Susan–Thank you very much for your passionate observations about Michael, arguably the greatest entertainer of all time. I thank you for your transparency about your own feelings and thoughts. It’s just striking to me, though, because you are gorgeous, and for me, you have already made the world a better place [smile].

  30. Susan–Thank you very much for your passionate observations about Michael, arguably the greatest entertainer of all time. I thank you for your transparency about your own feelings and thoughts. It’s just striking to me, though, because you are gorgeous, and for me, you have already made the world a better place [smile].

  31. Well said, sister! Your honesty and eloquence have helped me better understand why my sister and I have been obsessively playing MJ’s music and watching his videos and teaching our kids the Moonwalk.

  32. Well said, sister! Your honesty and eloquence have helped me better understand why my sister and I have been obsessively playing MJ’s music and watching his videos and teaching our kids the Moonwalk.

  33. Thanks Susan for your insight into the character and beauty of Michael Jackson and the impact he had on the world. One of my favorite videos of his is “Black or White,” the one with the revolving heads of all races. He was a forerunner of inclusion of all races in his videos….no race was excluded…(see his video “Criminal Mind.” that attests to this fact.) Yes, little white girls had posters of Michael and the Jackson 5 on their bedroom walls. Of course parents were upset but were relieved when the copy-cat Osmonds suddenly appeared on the scene to try and dilute Michael’s star power. Donny tried to be the white version of Michael….it worked and parents were the ones posting the pictures. No one can take the place of Michael…he gave all of himself to the world on stage and off…and I for one will never say goodbye..

  34. Thanks Susan for your insight into the character and beauty of Michael Jackson and the impact he had on the world. One of my favorite videos of his is “Black or White,” the one with the revolving heads of all races. He was a forerunner of inclusion of all races in his videos….no race was excluded…(see his video “Criminal Mind.” that attests to this fact.) Yes, little white girls had posters of Michael and the Jackson 5 on their bedroom walls. Of course parents were upset but were relieved when the copy-cat Osmonds suddenly appeared on the scene to try and dilute Michael’s star power. Donny tried to be the white version of Michael….it worked and parents were the ones posting the pictures. No one can take the place of Michael…he gave all of himself to the world on stage and off…and I for one will never say goodbye..

  35. A great article! Well done!
    For the previous people posting comments about colour Michael had universal vitiligo. He did tell Oprah many years ago but she totally ignored what he said, blatant ignorance on her part.

  36. A great article! Well done!
    For the previous people posting comments about colour Michael had universal vitiligo. He did tell Oprah many years ago but she totally ignored what he said, blatant ignorance on her part.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s