By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio, June 26, 2009
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The shocking passing of megastar Michael Jackson has brought his music back to the minds of millions. Although his style of both dance and song may've been superseded by a whole new genre, there were few singers or dancers who didn't borrow something from the artist known as the 'king of pop.'
Among many of today's prominent artists are bits and pieces of Michael, just as he borrowed from the irrepressible James Brown. In Usher, Omarion, NeYo, Ciara, Genuwine (just to name a few), are glimpses of Michael Jackson's frenetic, almost robotic dancing style.
As a commercial artist, he had no peer. His 1983 "Thriller" not only earned a Grammy award, but spawned a dozen hits. The album would go on to sell more than any single artist's: 27 million copies.
Years ago, I told my wife I didn't care for the artist; she told me to ignore all the criticism, the press -- all of it, and look at him as an entertainer, say, like Sinatra.
I did. She was right.
He was a master entertainer, who moved millions not only with his distinctive vocals, but his dancing changed the art like Muhammad Ali changed the sport of boxing.
I never failed to marvel at his sheer brilliance and artistry.
Recently, the prison station showed a video of Jackson's concert in Bucharest, Romania. An outdoor concert, with more people than any of us would care to count, Jackson was in rare form, transfixing the immense throng with a show that was unlike anything they'd ever seen.
For those who feel his music was mere bubblegum pop, and thus devoid of serious social commentary, check out one of his post 'Thriller' songs; "They Don't Care About Us." Filmed in what appears to be a Brazilian favela, surrounded by thousands of dark skinned boys and girls, many drumming to the beat, the song is an anthem of how the rich world treats the poor of the world.
Michael Jackson was a master of his art.
He may be gone; he certainly won't be forgotten.
--(c) '09 maj
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Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
Please mail donations/ checks to:
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