By The Last Tear (Lou)
I Ain’t Scared Of No Sheets
I Ain’t Scare of Nobody
Black or White, Michael Jackson
One of the most interesting speeches that Jackson made – in my opinion – is the following:
Children have few rights and no one to speak for them. They have no voice in the world. God and nature has blessed me with a voice. Now, I want to use it to help children speak for themselves. I have founded the Heal the World Foundation to be the voice of the voiceless: the children.
How would I like to be remembered?As the voice of the voiceless children because I love them.
After the racist actions of the American police – that is not a once or twice happening but a trend and a style against African-American men since many years ago – Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray died in a horrible way. Angry people marched in the streets of their city and town screaming #BlackLivesMatter #Icantbreathe #AmINext and of course Jackson’s famous words and song #TheyDontCareAboutUs
We saw the students at the Berkeley University who joined the protesters by singing and marching #TheyDontCareAboutUs. We also saw Dimitri Reeves, a Jackson fan, who sang and danced some of MJ’songs in the streets of Baltimore among the protesters.
Indeed, we can hear Jackson’s howling from every corner of our planet! And his wish has certainly come true: he is remembered as the voice of the voiceless!
While researching about the racism in the American history and society, I saw an article and a video published by Roy Sekoff and Marc Lamont Hill on Huffington Post (4/14/2015). Here is the link to the article and the video to watch:
From Mississippi 1963 to South Carolina 2015
When I saw in the video the white men dancing and singing with blackfaces, I remembered Joe Vogel’s studies about Jackson’s music especially about Black or White
Also, another article – Black or White – written by Anne Wollenberg came in my mind (published on 24/06/2014).
Wollenberg presents Harriet J. Manning’s research about Michael Jackson:
[…] For much of the nineteenth century in America and Europe, the tradition of blackface minstrelsy was a dominant form of popular culture. This was a theatrical form for which white performers ‘blacked up’ to parody black people. Black performers were initially banned from the stage and once allowed, in the late 1860s, were forced to keep playing into the tradition’s stereotypes. “It was a complete domination of someone else’s self-representation,” says Manning, who used sources including drawings, photographs, playbills and lyrics in her research. “For black performers, there was no option but to wear the mask and play the role.”
Michael Jackson and the Blackface Mask (Ashgate), proposes and explores the theory that Jackson’s performances were rooted in the racist historical practices of blackface minstrelsy and its mask wearing. “There’s an idea that this history is best forgotten because it’s uncomfortable, but we need to talk about it,” says Manning. “That was part of my motivation from the beginning. This history should be more widely known.”
Manning noticed this unexpected paradox: “here was a black performer quoting a very racist performative history.” She started looking into Jackson’s dance moves and gestures. “I observed that all his most staple choreographic moves can be traced back to minstrelsy, such as sliding motions, angulated limbs, spins and turns.”
Those moves were designed to mock, Manning explains. “Minstrelsy was about presenting an impersonation of a black person in an oppressive, ridiculing way,” she says. “By appropriating them, and the tradition’s stereotypes, into his routines, Michael Jackson rejected a racist construction of black identity, at times through parody and at other times by reclamation such as making the dance moves utterly sublime and ‘cool’.” […]
After the recent police brutality in the US and the pictures that were published in the media and the social media, I saw a significant similarity between these pictures:
If Sneddon & Co and their 100 sheriffs who invaded Neverland could have beaten Jackson to death – like the pictures above – they would have done it. Instead, they set up a trial and prosecuted the man in the hope to destroy him. As we know, Jackson was acquitted of all charges.
Mr. Tom Mesereau, the lawyer who defended Jackson in 2005, was on King Jordan radio on February 13, 2015 and said these fantastic words:
“People who got anywhere near Michael Jackson thought they could profit in one way or another. People wanted money from him from the earliest times  Even in his darkest hours, people were suing him, even in the most troubling time imaginable, people were after his money. The pressure on this poor soul was just enormous.  I will defend Michael Jackson to my last breath. I know he was innocent, I know he was targeted because he was wealthy and famous and perceived as very vulnerable and that made him a target for all kinds of people  He was a brilliant genius and a kind, gentle soul who was tortured, exploited, punished for things he hadn’t done. I will always feel honored to have defended him” .