#HonorMJbday- Michael Jackson fans of NY- Pajama Program 2014

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Michael Jackson’s fans of New York City Unite for celebrations of the great legend and to also pay forward his reknowned charitable giving.  Participation of this event is most appreciated and even fans outside New York can send their love to children in need all in the name of Michael Jackson.

Michael birthday celebration in spirit of giving pajamas and books to children waiting for adoption –  Come and Join in the LOVE

3pm-6:00pm Bring you candles, balloons and love for the King of the Pop on his Birthday to Strawberry Fields- Central Park – Aug 29th 2013♥

In addition to celebrating Michael’s Birthday, we will Honor him by continuing his work of Community Service and Charitable Giving by donating new pajamas and/or books to the Pajama Program. If you wish to participate you can mail pajamas, or a donation directly to the Pajama Program (details below)

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Please ship your package to:
Pajama Program
34 E 39th St. Suite B
New York, NY 10016
RE: MJFans of NY
(Make sure you leave a note – that you are a fan of Michael Jackson)

Pajama Program, a 501(c)(3) charity, provides new pajamas and new books to needy children, many of whom are waiting and hoping to be adopted. Many of these youngsters have been abused or abandoned and in many cases, have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a loving mother or father tuck them in at bedtime. Through the Pajama Program, we hope to contribute to a warmer, more loving environment for children when they are at their most vulnerable.

Here’s all you need to keep in mind:
1. Pajamas need to be new, unused, and a complete set or nightgown. Here’s what a prominent physician has to say about this:

“The clothing a child spends 8-10 hours sleeping in is important to a child’s well-being. New pajamas are a necessary part of promoting good health and preventing infections and disease, as well as providing psychological benefits.”

Sheldon H. Cherry, MD
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, NYC

2. Decide for which age range you want to collect new pajamas and new books:
a) for all ages, Infant – 17 yrs old
b) for children from Infant – 5 yrs old
c) for children 5yrs old – 12 yrs old
d) for teenage children ages 13-17 (Adult sizes Small to XXXL!)


Source:Facebook: Celebrate Michael Jackson’s birthday and IMAGINE

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Duke Univ- Michael Jackson & The Black Performance Archive – Fall Sem 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.39.21 AMCOURSE IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Michael Jackson & The Black Performance Archive

Duke University | Fall Semester 2014

Wednesday @ 6:15pm – 8:45pm | White Lecture Hall (107)

Duke East Campus


Mark Anthony Neal, Ph.D. | man9@duke.edu | 919.684.3987

Twitter: @NewBlackMan

Course Description

A central premise of ‘Michael Jackson and the Black Performance Archive’ is the question, “Where did Michael Jackson come from?” While there are facts—he was born on August 29, 1958 in a Rust Belt city named Gary, Indiana—what the course aims to answer are the broader questions of Jackson’s cultural, social, political and even philosophical origins.

The course posits the Black Performance tradition as a living and breathing archive that helped produce Jackson’s singular creative genius within the realms of music, movement and politics, including the influence of Black vernacular practices like signifying and sampling, the network of Black social spaces known as the Chitlin’ Circuit, the impact of Black migration patterns to urban spaces in the Midwest (like Gary, Chicago and Detroit—all critical to Jackson’s artistic development) and Black performance traditions including Blackface minstrelsy.

As such the course thinks of Jackson’s relationship to the archive in three specific ways:

1) The literal archive of Michael Jackson’s recordings and performances

2) Michael Jackson’s relationship to the archives of African American Performance and American Ephemera

3) Michael Jackson as Archive—exploring Jackson as Intellectual Property

In addition the course will examine the social constructions of Blackness and gender (Black masculinity) through the prism of Michael Jackson’s performance, highlighting his role as a trickster figure and shape-shifter within the context of African-American vernacular practices.


Blues People: Negro Music in America | Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka)

Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America’s First Black Star | Camille F. Forbes

The One: The Life and Music of James Brown | RJ Smith

Moonwalk | Michael Jackson

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson | Joseph Vogel

Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire | Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Read more here:

Department of African American Studies at Duke University – Facebook

Professor Mark Anthony Neal

Sources: New Blackman Blogspot – By Mark Anthony Neal| DAAS – Duke University | All Things Michael


Posted in Academic Study of Michael Jackson, In His Words, Inspirational Vanguards For MJ, Michael News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Jackson gives young girl will to live -

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March 7, 1973. ~ Michael visits Leslie Robinette, a 6 year old girl in isolation at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Leslie underwent a bone marrow transplant, leaving her in a post-surgical depression. When she met Michael, she was a sick child with a little hair and a bloated stomach, suffering from aplastic anemia caused by a genetic disease called Fanconi Anemia.
In 1973, Leslie and her family went to Seattle, where she was admitted to the Children’s Hospital (then it was called Medical Center and Children’s Orthopedic Hospital). The bone marrow transplant she received at that time was experimental surgery. She was one of the youngest patients going through the procedure. She had to have chemotherapy, radiation and a constant change of medications. But worst of all was that she had to be isolated for three months. Everyone spoke with her through walkie-talkies and only her mother was allowed to be in the room. The doctors told the family they had done everything but her condition was not improving. “After going through all this, you’re tired and just want to go home, it is a way to stop the fight” Leslie said afterwards.

During the isolation, she was listening her favorite band, The Jackson 5, from a sterilized record player that doctors allowed her to have in the room…. and on March 7, she had a surprise visit.

“I was sitting in my room looking out the window, listening -oddly- the song “Looking through the window” of the Jackson 5, when I heard nurses going crazy and making a fuss,” said Leslie. She looked through the glass that was her only connection with the busy hospital and saw the Jackson 5 there.

“They asked me which one I wanted to see and I said – Michael-he was the cutest.”

Leslie describes Michael as an obviously shy but incredibly friendly and honest guy. He gave her an autographed picture, took her hand and asked her how she was. “It’s been so long since I touched someone without gloves. And I saw hair instead of just a green hat with eyes peeping through”. Michael was only 15 then, and Leslie now believes that he was more nervous than her.

After the visit, Leslie’s condition began to improve.
“I would not say that he saved her life, that would be too much – but he definitely gave her a desire to live because she had lost it”, says Trine Robinette, Leslie’s sister.

Three months after her encounter with Michael, Leslie left the hospital and returned with her family to their farm in Greenville. Although the doctors said that she could not live more than 10 years, Leslie is still alive, now 47 year old woman leading an active life although she is still struggling with her illness.

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August 9, 1984. ~ Eleven years after, when Leslie was 17, she met Michael again.
This time it was on the Victory Tour in Knoxville for two nights of concerts, which spread to a third night due to its popularity. Nearly 50,000 fans gathered at Neyland Stadium every night to see the show.

Leslie received free tickets and on the third night, she got backstage. She gave Michael a handmade birthday card. “I asked him if he remembered me and he said yes. We were talking about the choir where I sang and how soon will I get rid of the lumbar corset (for the disease),” said Leslie.

Then Michael told his security team that she was his guest, so she attended the third concert in a VIP box sitting right next to his mother, Katherine.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/MiraLovesMJ4eternity

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Adrian Grant ‘Michael Jackson was a normal guy’ -

Note: Michael Jackson detested the term that the UK pressed penned. We have removed that racially offensive term from the title of the original article and have refrained from hyperlinking the MetroUk url where this interview was posted Aug 10th 2014 in protest- However, we have hyperlinked Adrian Grant’s book to Amazon url for purchase.

Copy of article-

Jackson was a normal guy- 

When Adrian Grant, 40, launched a Michael Jackson fanzine, little did he know he would go on to befriend his hero. A producer of Thriller Live, he is also the author of Michael Jackson  A Visual Documentary, Tribute Edition (Omnibus, £19.95), out now

Was the coverage around Michael’s death over the top?
At the weekend they ran pictures of the bed where he apparently passed away. The intrusion into his life after death is as great as it was when he was alive. He was always concerned about his privacy and media intrusion and he despised the tabloids for it. Obviously, they are doing that even more so now and I can only hope his children are shielded from it.

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Adrian Grant: ‘Jackson was a normal guy’
Where were you when you found out about his death and what was your reaction?
I was at home and could not believe it. I knew he had been taken to hospital but I thought it was just exhaustion and not as serious as it turned out. It took a while to sink in; even when it was announced he had died, I still didn’t believe it. Being surrounded by his music constantly, it still feels like he is with us in spirit and I think he is a bigger star now in passing than he was before.

You went to the US for the tribute. Your thoughts?
It was good to be there. It was very emotional. I’m glad I went, I got to meet the family and have some time with Paris, who gave a very moving speech. It reminded people Michael was first and foremost a father figure. She is adorable, I gave her a copy of my book and she was very grateful. They have been brought up very well.

Are the children biologically Michael’€™s?
All I know is that Michael raised them 24/7, he was very much their father and the children adore him. They miss him very much obviously. The public and media perception of Michael is very different to the real person, who I spent a lot of time with. The person I met was caring and always liked to laugh. He was a genius in the studio and I don’t think he got enough credit for that when he was alive. People focused mainly on the headlines.

Lisa Marie has said he was much different in real life; that his voice was deeper and he was more regular. Was that true?
He was very aware of his image in public. I met him when he was with Lisa Marie and, again, the perception was that it was a fake relationship but it wasn’t. On the occasions I met them, they were very protective of each other. She asked Michael who I was and why I was there and he comforted her that I was a trusted person and then she opened up. They were like a normal couple. He would ask her opinion of his songs and play with her children. The Michael I knew was regular person away from the cameras but very shy.

What was it like the first time you met him?
I didn’t know what to expect. You have a press perception of what Michael is like and he is a massive superstar. The first time I met him, he came into a recording studio, he had no make-up on and he invited me to Neverland for the weekend.

How old were you?
I started the Off The Wall fanzine when I was 19 and he invited me over when I was 21. I have a lot to thank him for, I did not think I would start a fanzine and go on to produce a West End show. He was the inspiration and I took perfectionism from his lead. He told me to always do the best I could. He could be a tough person when he needed to be. He took a lot of knocks but always got back up again.

What are your thoughts on the paedophilia allegations?
The Michael Jackson I spent time with was an innocent man.

Would you have been comfortable to leave your children with him for the night?
I have a daughter and I have been to Neverland many times. My daughter has sleepovers and Michael was a great father. If you know someone and trust them and feel comfortable then I do not see anything wrong with it.

Source: http://metro.co.uk

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A Place With No Name

Epic Records and The Estate of Michael Jackson, announced today that “A Place With No Name,” the next single from this year’s critically acclaimed, chart-topping Michael Jackson album XSCAPE [MJJ Music/Epic Records], will make history when it premieres on Twitter (twitter.com). At 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 13, 2014 the short film will be tweeted through @MichaelJackson allowing the Twitter universe to be able to view the video within a tweet. And for those fans in New York City, “A Place With No Name” will be shown on the massive Sony screen in Times Square at the very same moment.

Throughout his entire career, Michael has always stood on the cutting edge of groundbreaking technological advancements. With “A Place With No Name” as the very first music video to launch through Twitter, he continues to set the pace of pop culture and music yet again. Follow @MichaelJackson to watch the historical moment from the “King of Pop” unfold.

Increasing anticipation, a preview of the video is set to make its network television debut on the special Michael Jackson themed episode of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance broadcast that same evening beginning at 8PM ET. The show will open with a Top Eight group performance featuring “A Place With No Name” choreographed by the Emmy award-winning Travis Payne, who worked as both back-up dancer and choreographer for Michael Jackson. During the program, all of the Top Eight remaining contestants will compete with new all-star partners and each performance will feature a different Michael Jackson song, including songs from XSCAPE.

Michael re-envisioned America’s 1972 classic “A Horse With No Name” to convey a narrative following a man whose car breaks down and is led by a mysterious woman to a utopian place where “no one is in fear” and “no people have pain”. It was a collaboration with Elliott Straite [Dr. Freeze] done in 1998 at Record Plant Recording Studio.

The beautifully shot short film, directed by iconic award-winning director Samuel Bayer, whose credits include seminal videos from Nirvana and The Rolling Stones, has been created by following Michael’s overall vision for short films which tell the song’s story, in this case, of a man enticed into a magical “place” by a mysterious woman. The short film also includes outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage of Michael shot during the production for “In The Closet” short film, which have been kept in the vault since 1992.

Upon its May release, XSCAPE reached #1 in 52 countries and went Top 5 in 87 more territories. Stateside, it debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, simultaneously landing at #1 on Amazon and Spotify. The album’s first single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” a duet by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake soared to the Top in the U.S. and achieved 17 #1 and 67 Top 5 positions around the world. The single also made for Michael’s highest Billboard chart debut since 1995 and fourth highest ever at #20 as his 49th smash hit. The album also generated his 50th top 10 Billboard chart with “Slave To The Rhythm” making Michael the first artist to ever have a Top Ten hit in each of six consecutive decades.
Michael Jackson is one of the most beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all-time. He was also a dedicated philanthropist and an astute business professional. To date Jackson has sold 1 billion records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and “Thriller” as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 17 Grammy Awards including 8 in one year, a record in itself, and received 26 American Music Awards, including the Artist of the Century Award. Jackson defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking short films as “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and the classic “Thriller,” which in 2009 became the first and only music video inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. In his short films “Black or White”, “They Don’t Care About Us”, “Bad and “Smooth Criminal” and others, Jackson set an aesthetic standard for video production that remains unsurpassed even today. The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil have produced two top shows: Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour is one of the top grossing tours of all time; and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE, a permanent show at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, which is breaking box office records and receiving critical raves. Jackson’s sound, style and dance moves continue to inspire today’s performers and new generations of fans worldwide
Source: http://www.michaeljackson.com

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Michael Jackson Creative Genius – Dr. Arturo Hernandez

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 12.02.40 PMMichael Jackson, 10,000 hours, and the roots of creative genius -
By Arturo Hernandez

That any person could become an expert in something if they simply spend about 3 hours per day for ten years learning it is an appealing concept. This idea, first championed by Ericsson and brought to prominence by Gladwell, has now taken root in the popular media. It attempts to discuss these differences in terms of the environment. The idea is that practice with the purpose of constantly gathering feedback and improving can lead any person to become an expert. If becoming an expert requires 10,000 hours, does a prodigy need 20,000.

Lets consider, Michael Jackson, as an example of a prodigy. He grew up in a musical family in Gary, Indiana just outside Chicago. His father Joe played in an R&B band. All of his siblings played music in one way or another. Unlike his siblings and father, Jackson did not really play any instruments. However, he would compose songs in his head using his voice. One morning he came in and had written a song which eventually became ‘Beat It’. In the studio, he would sing each of the different parts including the various instruments. Then the producers and artists in the studio would work on putting the song together, following his arrangements.

Work in cognitive neuroscience has begun to shed light on the brain systems involved in creativity as being linked to psychometric IQ. Work by Neubauer and Fink suggests that these two different types of abilities, psychometric IQ and expertise, involve differential activity in the frontal and parietal lobes. They also appear for different types of tasks. In one study, taxi drivers were split into a high and low group depending on their performance on a paper and pencil IQ test. The results showed that both groups did equally well on familiar routes. The differences appeared between groups when they were compared on unfamiliar routes. In this condition, those with high IQs outperformed those with low IQ. So expertise can develop but the flexibility to handle new situations and improvise requires more than just practice.

Reports of Michael Jackson’s IQ are unreliable. However, he is purported to have had over 10,000 books in his reading collection and to have been an avid reader. His interviews reveal a person who was very eloquent and well spoken. And clearly he was able to integrate various different types of strands of music into interesting novel blends. If we were to lay this out across time, we have perhaps the roots of early genius. It is a person who has an unusual amount of exposure in a domain that starts at an early age. This would lead to the ability to play music very well. Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 11.53.32 AM

Jackson came from a family filled with many successful musicians. Many were successful as recording artists. Perhaps Michael started earlier than his siblings. One conclusion we can draw from this natural experiment is that creative genius requires more than 10,000 hours. In the case of Michael Jackson, he read profusely and had very rich life experiences. He tried to meld these experiences into a blended musical genre that is uniquely his and yet distinctly resonant with known musical styles.

The kind of creativity is not restricted to prodigies like Michael Jackson. Language, our ultimate achievement as a human race, is something that no other animal species on this planet shares with us. The seeds of language exist all over the animal kingdom. There are birds that can use syntax to create elaborate songs. Chinchillas can recognize basic human speech. Higher primates can develop extensive vocabularies and use relatively sophisticated language. But only one species was able to take all of these various pieces and combine them into a much richer whole. Every human is born with the potential to develop much larger frontal lobes which interconnect with attention, motor, and sensory areas of the brain. It is in these enlarged cortical areas that we can see the roots of creative genius. So while 10,000 hours will create efficiency within restricted areas of the brain, only the use of more general purpose brain areas serve to develop true creativity.

Arturo Hernandez is currently Professor of Psychology and Director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience graduate program at the University of Houston. He is the author of The Bilingual Brain. His major research interest is in the neural underpinnings of bilingual language processing and second language acquisition in children and adults. He has used a variety of neuroimaging methods as well as behavioral techniques to investigate these phenomena which have been published in a number of peer reviewed journal articles. His research is currently funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. You can follow him on Twitter @DrAEHernandez.

Image credit: Michael Jackson with the Reagans, by White House Photo Office. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Source : http://blog.oup.com/2014/08/michael-jackson-creativity/#sthash.ugw2lnnG.dpuf

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Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall Was the Perfect Pop Record by Prof. Marc Anthony Neal

By Marc Anthony Neal – Die-hard Michael Jackson fans know that before Thriller, Off the Wall—released 35 years ago this week—was his signature achievement.

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What is Michael Jackson’s greatest album? The answer helps establish whether you were introduced to Jackson via Thriller, the crown jewel of his commercial legacy, or whether you were riding with him long before he donned the sequined glove—since Off the Wall, the classic album released 35 years ago this week that represents Jackson at his most brilliant musically and that may be the most perfect pop recording of the late 20th century.

Off the Wall is remembered as the first in a series of collaborations between Jackson and producer-arranger Quincy Jones that would redefine pop. Yet when Jackson and Jones first began to work together, on the set of The Wiz, Jones was actually focused on another young black male vocalist, Luther Vandross, who had contributed “Brand New Day” to The Wiz soundtrack and who was featured on Jones’ 1978 recording Sounds … and Stuff Like That.

That Jackson’s youthful professionalism impressed Jones—himself a veteran of the same chitlin circuit that produced Jackson and his brothers, in the form of the Jackson 5—is no surprise, but Jones also detected a certain something that Jackson possessed—charisma, genius, brashness—that would allow them to push music forward. And “You Can’t Win,” from The Wiz, was the first fruit of their partnership.

READ full article: TheRoot 

Mark Anthony Neal is a professor of African and African-American studies at Duke University and a fellow at the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is the author of several books, including Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities. Follow him on Twitter- @NewBlackMan

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