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In life there are moments you never forget where you were when It happened. I often hear of the older generation speaking about remembering exactly where they were when they heard that Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy were killed. For my generation and those that came after mine we will always remember where we were when the OJ verdict came in, when the police officers were found not guilty of beating Rodney King, and of course 9/11.
Well, the premature death of the â€˜King of Popâ€™ Michael Jackson is now and forever will be added to that list of things you were doing and places you were when you got the news. In fact just the day before Michael so tragically died I was having a conversation about â€œThe Greatest Concert You Have Ever Been Tooâ€, and while the final verdict varied depending on who you talked to, Michael Jackson and the Jacksons always were in the top three. I have seen Michael on several occasions. I saw Michael on the Thriller tour and the Bad tour. I went to Dodger Stadium 3 of the 6 nights to watch the Jacksons do their thing.
As a kid I remember watching the Jackson 5 on Soul Train and American Bandstand. I remember waking up every Saturday morning to watch the Jackson 5 cartoon and being so excited to watch them perform. The truth is Michael Jackson is a part of the fabric of America, and a part of the fabric of the world but the truth is he is an even bigger part of the fabric of Black America. Certainly he is a part of the fabric of the Black America of my generation. Everyone wanted to be a dancinâ€™ machine--we all wanted to moon walk and we all wanted to perform in the Thriller video.
The other thing about Michael is he was an incredible and sensitive humanitarian. Do you remember the chills you got every time you heard â€œWe Are The World?â€ That song inspired Hands Across America which I remember being at Exposition Park and we all held hands at the same time trying to make this great chain all across America--Black, White, Brown all just trying to come together to help starving children in Africa.
On a personal note Michael Jackson did one of the greatest things for my family and for that I will always be eternally grateful. My sister Sabriya was in the hospital battling leukemia. She had been living in the hospital for almost 2 months and then one day Michael Jackson called her. He didnâ€™t just call and say hi, he talked to her for over an hour, talking to her about life, her plans for the future, and what is was like being in high school and what it was like being in the hospital. That hour was one of the greatest moments of her life and she was so excited. Well, as many of you know about a month later my sister passed away, but I will never forget and I will always be thankful to the man who took time out of his busy schedule for a little girl he never met to give her one of the greatest joys of her life. Never asking for any press or fanfare he just wanted to make someone happy.
So I say thank you Michael Jackson, for giving yourself to the world, for giving us all Joy, Peace and Happiness. That is all you ever wanted to do--make people happy, and by the reaction of people all over the world you did that in a BIG, BIG WAY.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to â€œTalk to Danny.â€
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor