Monday, June 29, 2009
I've been avoiding the frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson's life, death, and legacy. I've weighed my thoughts and feelings and now know what I want to say. I can't comment on his life or death because I was not an actual part of either. Those fans who act like they actually knew him well frighten me. Despite what people may think or Michael Jackson as a person or music as an industry, the reach of his talent is undeniable. Not only did he connect races and ethnicities, he also connected generations. His legacy will be different things to different people. Yes, when I was about six or seven, I had a crush on him...thankfully, his legacy is bigger than that!
I was bussed to a predominantly white high school, occasionally date men who are not African-American, live in a predominantly white community, and most of my friends belong to other races or ethnic groups. When conversations turn to music we listened to as teenagers, most of my friends have never heard of the artists or songs that trigger memories for my childhood friends and me. Outside of jazz and classical music, and the occasional rock song (thank you Elton and Bon Jovi) our common ground is Michael Jackson. Regardless of ethnicity, we can all name at least one of his songs that we enjoyed.
My mother's favorite M.J. song is Man in the Mirror. My favorites are Stand, Some Day at Christmas, and Thriller. What's your favorite?