Most of the world is in shock and mourning the death of music legend Michael Jackson, who died June 25, 2009, of cardiac arrest. Those who were in any way remotely involved with Michael Jackson are bombarding the airwaves with remembrances, recounting moments of having breathed the same air as The Gloved One, for better or for worse...
It feels almost prescient now, my Michael Jackson moment three days ago. I was in a supermarket, searching for cooking vermouth, when the vintage Jackson Five 1970 hit "The Love You Save" suddenly filled the air. And there I was, zoomed way back in time and singing along with Michael more loudly than was appropriate. I had FUN singing while pushing my cart; I knew every word.
I'd made a weird but powerfully sweet, momentary connection with my childhood -- and Michael's. In a way, it was almost the sheer high -- the joy and jubilation -- that people feel when they're lifted by the spirit in church... Very strange. Nothing like that's ever happened to me before -- and certainly not in a grocery store.
And then yesterday came: Michael Jackson died. Poof! No: Not Michael...? A huge chunk of so many people's childhood has been SHOOK... Our feet haven't touched the ground yet on hearing this news.
I no longer have my childhood scrapbook filled with big Afro-wearing Jackson cuties... images ripped from fan magazines like Right On! and Tiger Beat. But I hope this video tribute to Michael Jackson gives you a sense of the intense pride and admiration that African Americans felt for Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 decades before he became a worldwide hearthrob.