Thursday, June 25, 2009

Response to Michael Jackson's Passing


There has been a lot of death this week. Earlier this week, a metro subway train here in the DC area crashed into another train, killing nine people and injuring dozens more. This tragedy was the first of its kind to reach our area in decades.
Celebrity wise, Ed McMahon and Farah Fawcett died as well. But, nothing celebrity-wise hit me like the death of Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson's music is the soundtrack of my childhood. My five year-old found Micheal Jackson while at her grandparents' house two years ago and ever since, she and I will watch youtube videos together, dancing and singng along to hits like "ABC", "You Can't Win" from the Wiz, "Billie Jean" and her favorite "Beat It". "Thriller" and "Remember the Time" scare the hell out of her. She has met Michael Jackson and his rainbow of skin complexions. His skin issues and issues with self have been great teachable moments about loving the skin you're in and what happens when you so desperately try to look different and destroy the outer beauty you are born with (MJ was a beautiful chocolate drop boy).
Though the skin color and nose changed, the music was still of such quality. In my daughter, Michael had another fan.
Michael's death is tragic given the fact that his behind-the-scene life was shrouded in so much mystery, but the rumor mill was often at work with portraying him as a "freak", "molester", "madman", etc. and we will never know the truth. But, does that matter?
MJ's music was my childhood and I will remember him. His skin issues and overall issues regarding his love for self were always only one more historical relic of post-slave syndrome and the fact that he was still able to create musical beauty was an act of heroism in itself. I thank his spirit for choosing his human journey during my lifetime.

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