Friday, June 26, 2009

A Musical Legend--Michael Jackson--Waves Goodbye to the World

So dominated has the news of the demise of Michael Jackson on 25 June in the media that I am not quite sure what to write. Listening to BBC World service's News Hour this afternoon at its regular midday slot, Claire Boulderson anchored the show with the news of his death, spending an inordinate amount of time examining his style and his iconic status. That's when it really struck me.

Actually, I lie: it struck me this morning, when I found myself with teardrops rolling down my face. I looked at myself in the mirror to see whether it was really true. After I washed my face, the tears came even more!

Small wonder: the African culture tells us that we don't speak ill of the dead--and I am not about to do so anytime soon, but what I will do is to categorically state how much of a bad decision it was to become a white man.

Black is beautiful--and it will forever be so. As a Black Man, Michael Jackson had the looks, the voice; the talent. Oh what a shame.

Was it the price of vanity, or the price of a lack of self-esteem brought about by
a lack of self-esteem produced by a childhood of occasional "abuse".


I've never quite understood what the West meant about abuse. [as I write this, BBC World Service's Africa service on "Focus on Africa" has dedicated a whole programme on his demise, ending the special with Billie Jean.] I don't know which average African has not endured beatings as a child.

I have certainly been at the butt of quite a few beatings myself, but it's a staple of the average Ghanaian (let's be specific here!) who grew up in the eighties. Nothing really to write home about.

That said, was it this kind of abuse that the West likes to call abuse on his part? It is true that his childhood was lost singing and whatnot at such an early age, but I cannot help but wonder whether the delectable and very personable Drew Barrymore who was also a child star underwent that degree of lack of self-esteem? Reports indicate that she went through drugs and re-hab at an early age, but she snapped out of it--like many of them eventually do.

Jackson's was a bit extreme: I am still unsure whether the skin-changing was because he could or because of low self-esteem. He might have been a lonely kid and perpetuated his Peter-Pan life-style by surrounding himself with things of the youth--rather than as the Desiderata admonishes--"...gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Still, his greatness preceded him, and he will go down in history, in my view, as a legend.

My tears this morning came down, I suspect, because at the end of the day, Jackson was a human being with frailties and foibles. He might have made serious mistakes and over-spent and been profligate with his money. He might have pulled the rug under Paul Macartney as wikipedia maintains. He might have been foolish in transforming his fine, Black features to a white mass that was not him.

But he was human.

If you and I were in his shoes, would we have done the same thing?

Tell me this isn't human nature...

Rest in perfect Peace, Mr.Jackson.

1 comment:

vaimjjxfilefan said...

Greetings from Miami,Florida!
Dear brother, despite what the media has presented to the world, our brother Michael did not choose to change his color. It was a skin condition that he acquired. In truth, do you REALLY think that Michael wanted to be white? If you do, then the enemy has succeeded in his attempt to destroy the Black man's love for himself here in America. Keep in mind, Michael said that he was proud of his race and Is a Black man. The enemy just wants the rest of the world to think that the most popular man in the world lost his way. NO, he was leading the way. PEACE!!


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