By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio, July 5, 2009
click here to listen to audio column
Michael Jackson was, in many ways, a living contradiction.
Born Black, he would, through usage of plastic surgery, die with a somewhat white appearance.
He passed at 50, yet kept a certain child-like quality about him.
Although ostensibly apolitical as a worker in popular culture, and an artist, he inevitably had impacts that had political effects. As the first Black artist to breach the white walls of MTV, he entered millions of white homes, and introduced them to a vision, tempo and sound that rocked their worlds.
He studied some of the best dancers of his youth, and integrated many styles into one -- finally developing his own, an amalgamation of Jack Kelly, Fred Astaire, James Brown and Frank Sinatra.
He was both a Peter Pan and an astute businessman.
He was also a living symbol of the explosion of Black pop culture in the '60's, '70's' and '80's -- yet he never (as far as we read, at least) chose a Black woman to carry his seed.
He was dumped on and damned by the corporate press -- as an oddball, a child molester, or a has-been; yet his loyal fans were legion -- and loved him and his art, unconditionally.
For all that, he was reportedly achingly lonely.
He was so commercially successful that when he put out an album, and only 1 or 2 million copies sold, it was considered by the corporate press -- a flop (because it didn't match or exceed the sales of his "Thriller" album).
Ask any artist currently working if they'd be happy with a million sales!
Through it all, he treated his life much like a stage, and resented performances almost as dazzling as his dancing.
The Japanese nationalist writer, Yukio Mishima (1925 - 1970) once said, " I want to make a poem of my life."
Michael Jackson seemed like he wanted to make a song of his.
It may be a carol of contradictions; yet it is most certainly art, of enduring quality.
--(c) '09 maj
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
URGENT Need for Petition Signatures at: http://www.iacenter.org/mumiapetition/
Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at: http://www.prisonradio.org
Mumia's got a podcast! Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays - Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia's radio commentaries online.
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:
FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL COALITION
PO BOX 16, NEW YORK,
(CHECKS FOR BOTH ORGANIZATIONS PAYABLE TO: FMAJC/IFCO)
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing