Thursday, June 25, 2009
He came into our lives as a precocious child. A young boy with a giant stage presence and an angelic voice. Young girls swooned and old folks marveled at the savvy soulfulness of his stage moves. He was Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Lyman, Little Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Sam Cooke all rolled into one little boy's body! He was unique and he was ours. He belonged to Black America and he was as Black as the Black town that launched his career; Gary, Indiana.
Yet, ultimately, he became an ambassador of Black American culture to the entire world. His bravado and his youthful swagger became iconic signatures that were copied the world over. Tune into variety television anywhere in the world and you will see his stage moves and dance steps recycled daily. The next time you watch a Bollywood movie look for Michael Jackson's imprint on the production numbers.
In 1977, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and speaking with Michael Jackson. I felt sorry for him because he seemed so painfully shy but his warmth and kindness were genuine.
His gentle voice will continue to echo into eternity...