(FinalCall.com) – Music and popular culture are among the most powerful influences in American society and by extension one of the most powerful forces on the planet. The ability to see, hear and respond almost in an instant has connected the world like never before–and those who are blessed with musical talent are able to touch the lives of people like never before.
Black entertainers, whether jazz musicians, blues singers, gospel artists or classical musicians have added life and vigor to the world, but the recent passing of musical God Micheal Jackson gave new meaning to the words from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that Black is not national, Black is universal.
Michael’s sudden death June 25 has unleashed a torrent of sorrow, appreciation and acknowledgement of his talent and impact that was unheard of literally just days ago. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has often said that with physical death a period is put to the end of life–and with the end of physical life, one’s true contribution can be measured.
Given the non-stop media coverage, perhaps millions of e-mails, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube messages, the talented son of Gary, Ind., has received recognition for an array of accomplishments in a life that ended at 50-years-old. The attention his passing has received is indicative of the contribution Michael made in life.
Thousands of people poured into the streets in Los Angeles, New York, Gary, Paris, London and other cities to offer impromptu tributes to a musical legend and to bear witness to the good that he added to their lives.
Parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren, stood together to celebrate the life and legacy of Michael Jackson. It was a final curtain call befitting the King of Pop and a sensitive soul who was hounded by the media and who lived nearly all of his life under the glare of public scrutiny.
Much has been written about the so-called eccentricities of the Gloved One but has any thought been given to the toll fame can exact on a human being, in particular the most famous human being on the planet? Has any thought been given to the price Michael paid for giving all that he had to a public, or perhaps media, that always desired more?
If your every movement, every relationship, every word, every action was examined would it be enough for you to seek a private refuge from prying eyes? If you did not know who to trust, would it make you most comfortable with children whose innocence and honesty you could trust?
It is often said that artists suffer for their craft and that out of their pain comes creation that gives life to others. The world is the beneficiary of the pain that Michael lived through and his creative genius helped fans make it through tough times in their own lives. It is sad that so much of the heartfelt adulation and admiration accorded to Michael in death was not shared in life. Fans often did their best to show their love and appreciation by flocking to wherever he would be found and by quickly snapping up all available tickets for 50 shows planned for this summer in London. They stood by him and stood with him when he was accused of child molestation charges and ultimately acquitted. The paparazzi, the tabloids and even the “respected” media, however, never seemed to give him a moment’s rest. There was a constant fascination and a search for dirt dished by anonymous sources, haters and extortionists.
With his death one Chicago tabloid printed a small section of things about Michael and separated truth from falsehood. Why didn’t that happen before his death?
Michael’s gift was greater than just the beauty of his voice and the majesty of his dance. His lyrics often encouraged racial reconciliation and introspection that would make the world a better place if people would simply take a look at themselves and make a change.
His music was fit for families and spanned across generations. It was music born out of a family endeavor and started with the success he shared with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. How many of today’s artists make music that is fitting for adults, let alone appropriate for adults and children to hear at the same time?
While there has been much speculation about his physical changes, there hasn’t been enough appreciation for his contributions as a Black man. He offered not only music but helped millions flow into Africa to fight famine and disease and contributed to other social and humanitarian causes in this country.
His ability to break racial barriers, notably his breaking of the color barrier on MTV, and his excellence was the antithesis of Black inferiority. Michael’s success opened the airwaves for others who would follow and have the opportunity to make millions of dollars and express their gifts. For those who may have had doubts, he proved greatness could manifest itself in any form.
Michael was also an example of what determination, hard work and focus could yield. He was born with a wonderful gift, but in interview after interview, family members, friends and colleagues recalled his constant study of himself and others, his drive for perfection and commitment to develop his God-given gifts to the best of his ability.
His was a magnificent gift and we thank Almighty God Allah for the wonderful present he bestowed on us through the human being known as Michael Jackson. May Allah God be pleased with him and may Allah God grant his peace and comfort to the Jackson family and all who truly loved him.