Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Michael Jackson's Death Meant to the Black Community

June 25th is a day that will live in infamy for many of us. I was watching television when someone came on and said that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. I rolled my eyes and told myself that this was one of his stunts and then I got on the internet to look it up. We all know that MJ was a bit of a drama king, so most people were in watch & see mode. I kept switching back and forth to Twitter, Facebook, & TMZ. I knew it was bad when CNN was outside of the hospital to. And then I saw it on TMZ-


My head hurt. My body ached. I cried hard. I sobbed like I'd gotten the call that one of my best friends had died. I wanted to throw up. My family actually called to offer me condolences. It was surreal. Someone that was a part of my life since I can remember was gone. No more. My stomach hurts just writing this.

Since the death of Michael Jackson, needless to say, there's been constant media attention. But beneath the media attention people are still hurting and crying. Many of us still have a hard time making it through a full Michael Jackson song without breaking down. What's pissing me off the most is how so many Whites are saying that MJ was just a man and that he's dead so move on already. I'm not saying that Michael didn't deeply impact so many people of so many different races. We've all seen the concert footage of people of all races passing out on top of one another. What I'm saying is that the people that were obviously not MJ fans, are ready to crap on this man's legacy and they feel that he's not worth the accolades and praise that we're giving him. If I hear or see one more person write "You're not related to him" I'm going to punch someone. The fact of the matter is that MJ has been in many of our hearts for decades. He was around at every barbeque and family reunion and countless parties and night clubs. He many not have been there physically, but his spirit lifted us up in our darkest hours. I don't know anyone that can listen to "Wanna Be Startin' Something" without shouting and clapping "Mama-Say-Mama-Sa-Mama-Cu-Sa!!!" by the end of the song. No matter who you are and what you're doing, by the end of that song you're dancing, singing, and shouting like you're at the deepest backwoods Southern church. And admit it, you LOVE it.

I understand that some people may not have embraced MJ the way that Black America did. We not only embraced him, we loved him. He was in the hearts and minds of many Black Americans. For a long time men wanted to be him, and women wanted to be with him. We knew that he had faults, because no one is perfect. He was quirky and sometimes downright weird. But he was our brother and we will always honor and respect him.

So I say to White America, there will be plenty of time for the news to focus on Iraq and cheating governors that leave the country to screw around. BFD if we want to take a few days or even weeks to grieve the loss of the greatest entertainer to ever live (take that Elvis!). If the world can stop spinning when Kurt Cobain dies, other folks need to leave us to grieve as a community. Michael Joseph Jackson inspired us to Heal the World. He was front and center for to remind us that We Are the World. He brought together many weddings and bar mitzphas with renditions of the Thriller dance. The man was Bad. You don't have to love or even like Michael Jackson, but for those of us that were impacted by his music and will continue to love and miss him, give us the respect of letting us grieve. Cuz God only knows how many of y'all are gonna cut the fool when Madonna drops dead.

1 comment:

Wild Safari said...

Malika, it soothes me to read someone else feels the way I feel about Michael. I am STILL in mourning. Intellectually, I know he is gone, but my heart doesn't want to believe it. I know I'm not alone in feeling Michael truly was a part of my family.

I get so angry when the media starts their daily routine of throwing mud all over his memory with irrelevant and untrue B.S. So many snakes are coming out of the woodpile to tell lies about him it is disgusting. You know 99.9% of these people weren't even around for him when he needed a friend.

Oh, and Michael is the biggest star there ever was. People need to stop trying to compare his death to Elvis, Farrah, and Anna Nicole. Michael is bigger than the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Sinatra, all of them. YT just doesn't want to admit it.