Christophe Boulmé and His Intimate Look At Michael Jackson

Interview with Frenchman, Christophe Boulmé

Christophe Boulmé is a graphic designer, illustrator and self-taught photographer. He regularly puts his talents at the service of artists and signed the biggest portraits of Michael Jackson, the covers of his albums and the poster for the single Stranger in Moscow. He has published an exceptional book, publishing hundreds of unpublished photos. We found him in Paris. An unconditional fan of Michael Jackson, Christophe Boulmé began his career with the creation of photomontages and drawings inspired by the world of the singer. He doesn’t know it yet, but his works will become cult. Michael Jackson, seduced by the creative world of the “little French photographer”, gives him confidence. He gives you access to the backstage of his shows and poses for him. Christophe Boulmé, who does not speak English, only communicates with the singer with his appearance and gestures. He became one of the few photographers authorized to retain full ownership of his photos and enjoy complete freedom of action. Ten years after the disappearance of the Jackson legend, the “little Frenchman” opened his photo library to share his clicks with the world.

How did you meet?

It is the path of a life, it is very abstract, very complex. When I started, I was a fan. We had the ambition to build a magazine for fans, we fought for it to exist. Michael knew about my work, I had the opportunity to photograph it in concert. In recent years, I have been responsible for entire campaigns.

What you felt during that first meeting?

Michael was overwhelming in his naturalness, availability, simplicity. He was very touching, very polite, very attentive. As it was a photo shoot with him Michael was interested in my equipment, in the way I worked. It was extremely touching, very destabilizing. I had a great human being in front of me, interacting with me with the greatest simplicity, it was incredible.

Was he stressed?

No! I never saw him stressed with me. I was much more stressed than he was.

You don’t speak a word in English. How did you communicate?

We talked a lot with our eyes. From time to time, he would call me to come closer. He must have thought I was shy. We had a very intimate moment, with a very personal conversation, it was at the hotel in Los Angeles, when we talked about the projects. I spoke bad English, but I accepted it: his passion, his enthusiasm. I was so immersed in his world and we talked so much with my eyes that I knew in my head what I had to do.

You signed the covers for his albums and the single Stranger in Moscow. What were his requirements?

None! I remember Stranger in Moscow. I had an idea and proposed it. Michael’s “right arm” said to me, “Do it! And come and propose us! ” When Michael found out, he looked for a while and then said, “It’s beautiful!” Sometimes he made special requests. And even in those moments, I had absolute freedom. He was never directive. He and I never made money from it. I never made a single job. It offered me great opportunities. It let me work on its image all year. It’s not a record cover that would make a difference. Black and White magazine.

Michael Jackson left 10 years ago. Why wait so many years before publishing these pictures of him?

It’s been ten years since we heard all about him. It was time to stop being modest. I had a life, I worked hard, I had many rewards for this extraordinary man, he was an extraordinary artist and we forget him more and more.It was time for our history to show a little of what his personality was. “I never wanted to consider him pragmatically and retrospectively, nor see you as a creature only supernatural “, you write. “Peter Pan, half man, half woman, half child” …That’s how it is described. It’s excess! This makes him a little misshapen. “I saw it my way,” you continue.

What is your opinion of the man?

When his universe generated my inspiration, everything seemed normal to me. I never had an opening justifier. Michael showed himself to me as a complete, brilliant, sober artist. From the beginning, he knew what it would be. His “half man, half child” side seemed natural to me.

The book “Michael” by Christophe Boulmé.

“Michael” HarperCollins France editions. By Christophe Boulmé

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Much Appreciation to Danielly Silva for her dedication and love of Michael Jackson.

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One Billion Views For Michael Jackson Campaign – #1Billion4MJ


WE were so proud and happy when Whitney Houston’s signature song “I Will Always Love You” and theme song to her movie “Bodyguard” garnered over one billion views on Youtube in 2020. This is an amazing feat for an artist who is no longer here to promote her music and we respect this wonderful artist and her fanbase.

This was very encouraging for Michael Jackson Global Family who implemented a #1Billion4MJ campaign initiated by a steadfast fan  @TudoPeloMichael in May of 2020, focusing primarily on Billie Jean YT video. See original post. 

We would of course want all of Michael’s video to hit One Billion and with time, many will achieve that designation, but it is important for us to prioritize our attention on achievable goals.  We are focusing on the top viewed FOUR Michael Jackson Youtube videos, for the Phase I, of this #1Billion4MJ campaign. 

Billie Jean hit the 900,000,000 mark on Jan 2nd, 2020 and as serendipty would have it   “Billie Jean” was released as the Thriller’s second single on January 2, 1983.  The World Music Awards tweeted about this accomplishment and we are thrilled, to say the least, but it will take a continued effort by dedicated Global fans to reach ONE BILLION by August 2021. 

1- Billie Jean

current views 902,304,475-  Feb 1 2021 919.810,177  -March 1 2021 939,340,537

2. They Don’t Care About Us –

current views 776,690,112  – Feb 1 2021 786,175, 019  -March 1 2021 795,437,127

3. Thriller –

current views 718,189,410 – Feb 1 2021 725,041,774– March 1 2021 734,089,643

4. Beat It –

We encourage all fans to develop a daily routine of searching on Youtube ALL Four of Phase I Titles and watching EACH video all the way through. As we continue to build the views on these four topped viewed Michael Jackson Youtube videos we suggest you watch some of the titles in Phase II in between viewing these four:

Smooth Criminal, Remember The Time, The Way You Make Me Feel, Black or White and Bad have views that range from 250Mil to 470Mil and as time passes their individual views will increase and our focus will shift and be concentrated on them as ALL FOUR in Phase I, will have already reached One Billion or are nearing it. This is a continous campaign as we want MULTIPLE Youtube videos of Michael Jackson to reach ONE BILLION. 

Smooth Criminal views are moving at a fast pace – 

Jan 1, 2021 470,454,344 – Feb 1, 2021 – 485, 926,426 – March 1 2021- 502,137,435

We will be updating views Monthly- 

As always we appreciate the love and respect for Michael Jackson and your concerted efforts to give him the designation of MOST Youtube videos with One Billion Views of any deceased artist. It’s within our hands to make it a reality –

Much love and light to you all –


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Las señales silenciosas de Michael Jackson, Craig James Baxter 

Las señales silenciosas de Michael Jackson, Craig James Baxter 

Por Craig James Baxter Autor de “Behind The Mask: What Michael Jackson’s Body Language Told The World” Twitter: @bodylanguageuk Traducción por Vanessa Rivera Guevara (@moonwalkervane) 

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Michael Jackson fue considerado por muchos el más grande intérprete que el mundo haya visto; su música y sus presentaciones lo convirtieron en uno de los individuos más famosos e icónicos que alguna vez hayan adornado el escenario. Sin embargo, el gran éxito también se acompaña de gran angustia. Cuando la gente piensa en Michael Jackson, muchos recordarán su música y sus legendarias rutinas de baile, pero su vida privada bien documentada y las sórdidas y, en ocasiones, condenatorias alegaciones en su contra proyectaron una oscura sombra, la cual abordé en gran detalle en mi libro. No obstante, mientras reflexiono ahora sobre mi investigación, es evidente que había muchos otros ejemplos del comportamiento habitual, no verbal, de Michael que no cubrí. Por tanto, dentro de este artículo mostraré más sobre los comportamientos más frecuentes de Michael, específicamente acerca de los saludos, y discutiré su importancia. 

Entonces, ¿cuáles son las ventajas de observar el comportamiento no verbal de otras personas? Bien, el lenguaje corporal es una parte bastante integral en nuestra vida diaria, pero la mayoría de veces somos ajenos a los mensajes silenciosos que enviamos y recibimos de los demás. Ahora mismo, por ejemplo, mientras lees este artículo, habrás adoptado una postura o posición cómoda, dependiendo de las circunstancias de tu ubicación; por ejemplo, podrías estar exhibiendo una postura cerrada si te sientes incómodo con la cercanía de una persona, especialmente dadas las circunstancias actuales del distanciamiento social. El zoólogo y eminente experto en lenguaje corporal Desmon Morris afirma que «todos cargamos con nosotros, a donde sea que vayamos, un territorio portátil llamado espacio personal. Si las personas entran en este espacio, nos sentimos amenazados». (Morris, 2002: 192) Esta postura o posición que has asumido probablemente ha sido moldeada durante años, y casi es seguro que no tendrás una inclinación en cuanto a dónde se originó o por qué te decidiste por tal acción. Asumiendo que este es un ejemplo trivial de cómo repetimos patrones de comportamiento, y siendo que estas acciones hacen nuestras rutinas diarias predecibles, también podemos aplicar esta misma lógica a otros aspectos de nuestras acciones diarias con respecto al comportamiento. 

En relación con estos comportamientos repetidos, una de las acciones habituales de Michael era agacharse al saludar a niños desfavorecidos o enfermos. Esto era especialmente visible durante sus muchas visitas a hospitales y orfanatos. A primera vista, muchos pueden sentir que esta es una acción puramente inocua; sin embargo, esta forma de agachar el cuerpo ayuda a interactuar con niños pequeños, específicamente cuando estás interactuando con ellos a la altura de los ojos. Cuando esto ocurre, y dentro de este contexto, suprime la necesidad del niño de mirar físicamente hacia arriba para verte —la cual es una posición que suele verse cuando un niño está siendo regañado por un mal comportamiento—, y, por tanto, ayuda a que ambos se sientan cómodos e importantes. Lo que hace a esa señal de comportamiento aún más reveladora es la frecuencia con la cual Michael la realizaba. Puesto que Michael era un incansable activista de muchas organizaciones benéficas para niños, su empatía y sinceridad se convirtieron en su segunda naturaleza. Como resultado, el saludo al agachar el cuerpo que ves aquí habría sido producto de su subconsciente, realizado sin pensamiento consciente o aviso. Al observar el mensaje silencioso que esto envía al receptor, es claro que Michael está mostrando una sinceridad profunda y honesta, y como tal, esta acción ayuda a transmitir el mensaje de «aquí no hay jerarquías; somos iguales». 

were equals

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Además de la habitual inclinación del cuerpo de Michael, otro saludo visto frecuentemente era la reconfortante caricia de cabeza. Durante mi investigación para “Behind The Mask”, noté qué tan seguido Michael empleaba esto, especialmente cuando saludaba a una fan exaltada que necesitaba consuelo adicional mientras se encontraba entre sus brazos. Esta acción es un poderoso gesto reconfortante y suele ser utilizado por padres amorosos cuando sus hijos están molestos. Esto nuevamente demuestra la compasión que Michael tenía hacia sus fans, no solo reconociendo su necesidad de consuelo de una manera en que sus padres lo habrían hecho, sino también siendo capaz de utilizar un gesto tan poderoso que permitiera a la fan expresar su emoción en manos seguras. Como se vio con el saludo de la inclinación del cuerpo, no tengo duda alguna de que este comportamiento habría sido también producto del subconsciente de Michael, realizado sin pensamiento consciente y ejecutado en el momento preciso en que una fan se sintiera abrumada. Al observar el silencioso mensaje aquí, la acción transmite un mensaje muy claro de «estás segura aquí conmigo». after here with mehere w me 2

Como se ve en este saludo, una de las habilidades de Michael era hacer que aquellos que lo conocían se sintieran especiales e importantes para él. Como mencioné anteriormente, no tengo duda alguna de que estos saludos formaban parte de los comportamientos habituales de Michael, moldeados no solo por la cantidad de personas que saludaba, sino también mediante la sinceridad distintiva que mostraba en su interior cuando saludaba. 

Alejándonos un poco de las muestras de saludo, no solo es importante exhibir el lenguaje no verbal de Michael en este formato, sino es imprescindible educar a la siguiente generación acerca de Michael. Yo estaba complemente honrado y eufórico al enterarme que el profesor Corby Phillips (Twitter @CorbyPhillips) utiliza mi investigación sobre el lenguaje corporal de Michael durante sus lecturas acerca de la comunicación no verbal en el Miami Dade College. Esto no solo ayudará a promover y preservar el legado de Michael, sino también motivará a los estudiantes a averiguar la verdad sobre él. Con una abundancia de rumores salaces y desinformación en cuanto a la vida privada de Michael, que aún sigue siendo circulada por los medios de comunicación, nunca ha habido un momento más importante para documentar y promover el lenguaje no verbal que Michael mostraba, y también exhibir su incansable y duradera labor humanitaria. 

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Como lo he documentado en este artículo, estos saludos son enormemente significativos. No solo revelan el lado de Michael que quizás nunca hayas considerado, sino también muestran cuán naturales eran de él. No hay indicio de ser forzados o engañosos: él simplemente quería demostrar lo mucho que apreciaba a sus fans. La compasión de Michael, tanto en su sentido de comportamiento no verbal como en sus incansables obras de caridad, es fácilmente observable y proporciona una prueba más de su comportamiento increíblemente desinteresado hacia otras personas. 

Cerraré este artículo con unas palabras del mismo Michael: «Darle a alguien un pedazo de tu corazón vale más que toda la riqueza del mundo». 

Mis mejores deseos, CJB.


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Celebrating Love on Michael Jackson’s 62 Birthday

hannah kozak's blog

The truth is I wasn’t going to blog on the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 62nd birthday this year.  Not only have we been in a heat wave in Los Angeles but I have been trying to manage with my mother locked down in a nursing facility, left brain damaged from her second husband’s abuse. For the past six months, she has not been allowed visitors but I have been given permission to see her from a gate for 25 minutes, in the sun, with traffic whizzing by, two times a week. The isolation is getting to her as she does not understand why she has no visitors coming inside even though I have tried to explain the situation to her.  She asks me to “come inside”, “let’s go” “vamanos” and “open the gate.” Finding a perfectly ripe avocado made me happy, because it’s the only food they allow me to…

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The Silent Signals of Michael Jackson, Craig James Baxter –

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 The Silent Signals Of Michael Jackson

By Craig James Baxter
Author of ‘ Behind The Mask: What Michael Jackson’s Body Language Told The World ‘
Twitter: @bodylanguageuk

Michael Jackson was considered by many to be the greatest performer the world has ever seen; his music and performances made him one of the most famous and iconic individuals to ever grace the stage. However, great success often comes with great anguish. When people think back to Michael Jackson, most will remember his music and legendary dance routines, but his well-documented private life and the sordid and often damning allegations against him casted a dark shadow, which I addressed in great detail in my book. However, as I now reflect on my research, it’s evident there were many other examples of Michael’s habitual non-verbal behaviour that I didn’t cover. So within this article, I will showcase more of Michael’s frequently seen behaviours, specifically around his greeting displays and discuss their significance.

So what are the advantages of observing the non-verbal behaviour in other people? Well, body language is such an integral part of our daily lives, but more often than not we are completely oblivious to the silent messages that we are both sending out and receiving from others. Right now for instance, as you read this article, you will have adopted a stance or posture which is comfortable depending on the circumstances of your location – for example, you may be displaying a closed posture if you are uncomfortable with the proximity of a person near you, especially given the current social distancing circumstances. Eminent body language expert and zoologist Desmond Morris states that ‘…we all carry with us, everywhere we go, a portable territory called a personal space.  If people move inside this space, we feel threatened’ (Morris, 2002: 192).  This stance or posture which you have arrived at will have probably been moulded for years, and you will almost certainly have no inclination as to where it originated from, or why you decided on such an action. Granted that this is just a trivial example of how we get into repeated behavioural patterns, but these actions make our daily routines detectable, and we can also apply the same logic to other aspects of everyday behavioural actions.

In relation to these repeated behaviours, one of Michael’s habitual actions was to lower himself down when greeting sick or disadvantaged children. This was especially observable during his many visits to hospitals and orphanages. Upon first glance, many might feel this is a purely innocuous action; however this form of body lowering helps to engage with young children, specifically when you’re interacting with them at their eye level. When this body lowering happens & within this context, it removes a child’s need to physically ‘look up’ to you (which is a position often seen when a child is being reprimanded for bad behaviour) and thus helps to make them feel both comfortable and important. What makes this behavioural signal even more revealing is the frequency in which Michael would perform this. As Michael was a tireless activist for many children’s charities, his empathy and sincerity became second nature. As a result, the body lowering greeting you see here would have been a product of his subconscious mind, performed without conscious thought or prompt. Looking at the silent message this sends to the receiver, it’s clear Michael is showing a deep and honest sincerity and as such, this actions helps to transmit the message of ‘ there’s no hierarchy here, we’re equals. ‘

were equals
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Following on from Michael’s habitual body lowering, another frequently seen greeting action was the comforting head cradle. During the research for ‘Behind The Mask’ I noted how often which Michael would employ this, especially when greeting an emotional fan needing additional comfort whilst in his arms. This action is a powerful comforting gesture and is often utilised by loving parents whenever their children are upset. This again further demonstrates the compassion Michael had towards his fans, not only recognising their need for comfort in a way their parents would have done so, but also able to utilise such a powerful gesture which allows a fan to express their emotion behind safe hands. As seen with the body lowering greeting, I have no doubt this behaviour would have also been a product of Michael’s subconscious mind, performed without conscious thought and delivered at the precise moment a fan became overwhelmed. Looking at the silent message here, this action transmits a very clear message of ‘you’re safe here with me‘.

after here with me here w me 2

As seen with these greeting displays, one of Michael’s abilities was to make those he met feel special and important to him. As I’ve mentioned, I have no doubt that these greeting actions formed part of Michael’s habitual behaviours, moulded not only by the volume of people he greeted, but also via the distinctive sincerity he showed within in his greetings.

Moving away from greeting displays, not only is it vastly important to showcase Michael’s non-verbals in this format, but it’s also imperative to educate the next generation about Michael. I was incredibly humbled and elated to learn that Professor Corby Phillips (Twitter @CorbyPhillips) utilises my research in to Michael’s body language during his lectures on non-verbal communication at Miami Dade College. Not only will this help promote & preserve the legacy of Michael, but it’ll also encourage students to pursue the truth about him. With an abundance of salacious rumours & miss-information regarding Michael’s private life still being circulated by mass media, there has never been a more important time to document and promote the non-verbals Michael showed and to showcase his enduring and tireless humanitarian work.

after humanitarina work

humainitarin work 2As I’ve documented within this article, these greeting behaviours are tremendously significant. Not only do they reveal as side to Michael that you may never have considered, but they also show how natural these were for him. There’s no hint of them being forced or duplicitous, he simply wanted to show how much he appreciated his fans. Michael’s compassion, both in his sense of non-verbal behaviour & his tireless charity work are so readily observable and provides yet further evidence of his incredibly selfless behaviour towards other people.

I will close the article with words from Michael himself;

“ To give someone a piece of your heart, is worth more than all the wealth in the world. ”

Best wishes


Spanish Version-Las Senales Silenciosas de Michael Jackson

Italian Version -The Silence Signals of Michael Jackson


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Michael Jackson: A Spiritual Messenger Hiding In Plain Sight –


spirtuallt conscience manOriginal post Voices of Education

Barbara Kauffman

There are those rare visionaries who come along, maybe a few every millennia: the Bodhisattvas of the world. They are usually empaths who begin in childhood to literally feel the pain of the world and make vows to the cosmos early in life to change or improve it. They go about spreading awareness and mobilizing forces for change in order to make the world a better place. Counted among them are: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, John Lennon, Lady Diana Spencer, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mattie Stepanek, Nelson Mandela and a little Moonwalker.

The most famous man on earth literally stopped the world and the Internet when he became immortal on June 25, 2009. Michael Jackson was such a one— a cheerleader for humanity and a force for coalescing compassion and mobilizing global forces for change, philanthropy and social reform. A global messenger, Michael’s rise to stardom afforded him visibility and a worldwide platform from which to broadcast his message. His boldness and artistry garnered attention and Michael knew how to get attention. When he pulled enough people in and had everybody’s attention—he emphatically delivered the message. It was cloaked in a form that everyone could understand—the universal language of music.

As a child, he acutely felt the pain of the world and especially the world’s children. Michael’s words in his book Dancing the Dream reveal a thread of spirituality and mysticism rare for one so young. His body of work is filled with myth, metaphor and musical and visual story that encodes a stunning spiritual message for the human race. One has to look closely and deeper for the real message: his Ghost short film holds a jaw dropping message about humanity, mirror and shadow.

MJ annpuince's Victory charity
His Man in the Mirror song written by Siedah Garrett, became a Gandhi-esque anthem for a generation. He donated 100% of the proceeds of that song to charity as he did with many of his concerts including the Victory Tour with his brothers. Man in the Mirror encourages self reflection and mastery and being the change you wish to see in the world: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror; I’m asking him to change his ways; no message could have been any clearer; if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”

Michael also produced They Don’t Care about Us and other songs to address police brutality and mistreatment by authority. His song and video Black or White changed minds and advanced racial equality and multicultural diversity. His We are the World composition with Lionel Richie and accompanying video gathered 39 of the most visible faces on earth to raise millions to save lives in Africa. Heal the World was sung by children around the globe and at the 1993 Super Bowl halftime show where the whole stadium became a collage of earth’s children of all races and ethnic origins. Michael was the impetus behind Live Aid, Band Aid and he is responsible for starting the trend for musicians and celebrities to engage in fundraising and philanthropy.

His environmental anthem and epic music video Earth Song, was a prominent feature of his planned comeback concert, This Is It.  Earth Song carries the message that we must become not only custodians but stewards of the planet or risk destroying or losing it. His spiritual messages in the form of self-reflection, commitment and action boldly took on: racism, inequality, war, poverty, gangs, illicit drugs, apathy, the misuse of power, evil, at risk youth, education, family bonds and a host of contemporary social issues. Videos of Earth Song Live can be found on You Tube stunningly raw in their emotion and stark in their message.

Michael’s Don’t Stop till You get Enough is about the Force featured in Star Wars by George Lucas; he was a fan of both Lucas and Spielberg and he understood the concept of The Force, an intuitive conscious energy that permeates creation. He often said it was that intuitive energy, Force, or God who wrote his lyrics, performed and worked through him. He denied his own genius saying that his creativity and power didn’t come from him but through him. He writes about itDancing the Dream. The last album Michael produced, Invincible included Cry, a song about us—meaning humanity the collective, being the chosen one and needing some kind of sign that we are: ‘on it’… the mission to change the world and create a better version of the human.

Michael’s international concerts featured a military tank screaming onto stage and a soldier who lays down his weapon for a child who extends an offering of peace. He organized concerts at the world’s troubled spots like the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea asking his promoters to send him where he was needed. He teamed up with Pavarotti in benefits for the Warchild organization to help children in Kosovo and Guatemala. He organized a series of benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. He recruited Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti for the Michael Jackson and Friends concerts. The proceeds were donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Red Cross and UNESCO.

After the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City, Michael Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., which aired on October 21, 2001 and included dozens of major artists. His song What More Can I Give was written for the benefit and he donated it to the 9/11 families. He founded the Michael Jackson Burn Center at Culver City Memorial Hospital in California. Attending President Clinton’s inauguration, he asked for more funding for AIDS research after Ryan White, another child he had befriended, died from the disease. Michael Jackson is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as supporting the most charities of any entertainer—thirty nine of them. He met with heads of state and marched with armies round the world. The arm band he wore every day on his sleeve was homage to children and he vowed to wear it until there were no more wars on the planet and no more hungry children. His taped fingers were to remind him and us that there were still injured and suffering children in the world.

children orphanage
Michael, while on tour, would visit orphanages and hospitals in the countries where he played to concert audiences. He often met with leaders and if he found deplorable conditions during his visits, he would threaten to cancel a concert unless the conditions improved within 24 hours. No one ever ignored his demands for it would likely have caused citizen revolts. There are also hundreds of stories from people who were personally contacted by Michael Jackson. After a sniper opened fire at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, Michael called the local sheriff to request an escort from the airport to the school to visit the children; Dave Dave was a child who was badly burned when his father doused him with kerosene and lit him on fire and Michael, upon hearing the story, insisted on meeting and befriending him; Bela Farcas needed a liver transplant when Michael met him at Bethesda Hospital in Budapest so Michael paid for his new liver; he funded burials for children whose families couldn’t afford them and in one case, he sent his sequined jacket and a glove for the child to be buried in; he donated clothing and belongings for fundraisers and was the recipient of humanitarian awards too many to mention during his life and more since the recognition of his contributions since his death.

For decades, his Neverland Valley Ranch hosted monthly guest vacations, whether he was there or traveling, for children who were: gravely ill, inner city, handicapped, poor, at risk youth, gang affiliated, disenfranchised and disillusioned. The video for his famous Beat It featured real gang members Michael recruited—the Crips and the Bloods who collaborated to film it; the two groups had never before cooperated on anything except violence. His work with children was legion and very dear to his heart. Twice during his career, his celebrity, wealth and deep pockets brought accusers and accusations into his life—of improprieties with children. The accusations hurt him deeply and were later proven false and attempts to extort money from him. Although found innocent, the ordeal of his 2005 trial had harmed his reputation and was deeply wounding causing him to never host children at his fantasy ranch, nor live there again. He left his home feeling it had been sullied irreversibly by unscrupulous accusers and underhanded law enforcement personnel. He would never again sleep in his bedroom, in fact sleeping at all became rare; his sleep problems escalated and eventually led to his untimely and eerie death.

Most of Jackson’s work asks us to be emissaries of change and the evolution of human consciousness. The man leaves in his wake, an unparalleled humanitarian legacy, planetary midwifery and the alchemical power of the Bodhisattva used to enhance humanity and the planet. Using voice, magic, majesty, artistry, dance, mystery, sensuality, musical genius, enchantment and colossal talent to get their attention, pull people in, and marshal forces to deliver his message Michael trumpeted the message: Heal the world, make it a better place; make that change and change the world.”

If one digs underneath the hype, sensationalism and medialoid portrayal of Jackson, one finds a visionary and true humanitarian. If one looks beyond the label of “crazed” attributed to his fans, one finds mostly intelligent, thoughtful people who quite possibly are the greatest legacy he left this world. As the world’s most famous and visible global humanitarian and cheerleader, he leaves behind a worldwide family of 250 million admirers who are taking his teachings seriously. Michael always said his fans were his legacy. Many in the media have given them a cursory dismissal because of the “fan” label. But they got the message and they mean to be the change they want to see in the world and make it a better place. They are an army of humanitarians who are being the change. They mobilize themselves and resources for causes like the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and others. They got Michael’s message and are weaving it into their lives.

Perhaps it’s time Michael Jackson is recognized for who he really was and not for the media frenzied and tabloid portrayal that pandered to a sophomoric public drunk and fixated on the cult of celebrity. His genius is there for anyone who wants to take a closer look, who wants the truth and not the tabloid caricature version. If he were recognized for his real accomplishments we would see an unappreciated visionary and genius, a spiritual teacher among us who was hiding in plain sight and masquerading as a Moonwalking Maker of Magic. If you feel impelled at all to take a closer look you may find your mouth agape and your surprise staggering. And you might even come to understand the Force that was Michael Jackson; then the real legend continues.

Act u make the difference


MJ777 reposting of Barbara Kauffman’s original post on defunct website Voices of Education

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Interview w Vincent Paterson – Lighthouse Mag (Japanese)

Interview【Vincent Paterson】


I can’t forget that impact that I first got when I watched Michael Jackson’s short film “Thriller”. There was enough impact to change the world. I felt “Something is going to happen. Something that I have never seen before.” In the same era, Madonna, the absolute queen who conquered the world with a pair of high heels, debuted into stardom. One after another never before seen music revolutions were constantly occurring in the world which led to people having a lot of iconic moves engraved into their minds. It was Vincent Paterson, that I was able to interview, who was responsible for many of the iconic Michael Jackson and Madonna’s enthusiastic movements as he created behind the scenes as a director and choreographer. As if they met Vincent like fate, the world started to go to an unpredictable future. Vincent, when you worked with Michael Jackson and Madonna, there must have been some kind of magic going on in their performances to move my heart the way it did. I haven’t been able to have my heart be moved as much since then. What kind of spell did you cast on us?

You joined “Thriller” as an assistant choreographer. What do you think are the reasons why it is loved all over the world, even now?

“First of all, it’s a crazy, fantasy zombie dance. It was a unique dance that anyone can feel like dancing to and it was easy enough for people to remember the moves. So, it is still loved all around the world. Also, the fact that it wasn’t just a music video but also a short film where we can enjoy the story was another reason. Michael loved films and ‘Thriller’ was inspired by the film ‘An American Werewolf in London’. Because a music video channel called MTV was born at that time, people around the world were surprised to see ‘Thriller’. They thought ‘What is this? What is happening?’ when they saw the unpredictable story and the overwhelming performance.”

–Your style of choreography is very iconic and never stops attracting viewers. For example, I liked the Zero Gravity movement from “Smooth Criminal”. How on Earth do you create them?

“Sometimes, it just comes out of my crazy brain (laughs). Let me tell you the story of when Michael gave me a cassette that had ‘Smooth Criminal’ in it. He said ‘Listen to the music and let the music tell you what it wants to be.’ I put a headset on and listened to it many, many, many times. I began to see movement in shapes, such as a rectangle, a circle, or a spiral, and then I started to move to the music. That’s how the choreography was born. On the other hand, for Zero Gravity, I got inspired from a dance performance piece I had seen years before. The dancers came out with skis on and started leaning. This visual came into my head when I was creating the choreography for Smooth Criminal and I knew Michael would love it. Sometimes, I get inspirations from a play, a novel, or art, like the example I just cited. And other times, choreography comes out of my brain just by listening to the music. There are various ways to create choreography but the important thing is how I can be honest to the music.”

–The dance where Madonna grabbed her crotch in “Express Yourself” was especially surprising (laughs).

“This is how that happened. When we were filming ’Express Yourself’, Madonna asked me ‘What should I do with my hand on this last part?’ I answered ‘Why don’t you grab your balls because you have bigger balls than most men?’ (laughs). I taught her many ways to appear stronger, be more beautiful, and act more sophisticated. I even taught her how to smoke a cigarette and how to crawl on the floor. Interestingly, superstars don’t always know how to make themselves move a certain way for the public. Even Michael needed guidance. That’s why smart performers hire a choreographer. When we filmed ‘Black or White’, the director had an idea of having Michael stand in front of gray walls. Michael didn’t really like the idea. So, he asked me ‘Vincent, what do you think?’ and I said ‘Let’s express the inclusion of race, which is the theme of this song, by using dances from around the world.’ And I created the choreography which included Balinese, Cossack, and African dances. Michael’s dance vocabulary was mostly what he knew from his Motown days, including tap. When he began making his short films, he opened himself up to learning a variety of styles. From this education, as well as his working out with street dancers in LA, he evolved his own style.”

–You directed Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour, one of your many renowned pieces of work. That was the first time Madonna or any other woman in the media dared to be overtly sexual on stage. At that time, Madonna’s sexual performances were the newest popular topic to talk about. Was it a message trying to convey “Women, be strong!”?

“Perhaps that was part of it. Madonna likes to shock people. She likes to keep people on their toes, never knowing what her next incarnation will be. During the Blond Ambition Tour, she wanted to say that men and women should be equal. In this tour, I tried to stage “Like A Virgin” on a big bed. I said to her, ‘I want you to lie on the bed. And wouldn’t it be interesting if two men were there as part of the headboard of the bed?’ Then, she said ‘I also have come up with a great idea!’ and brought out cone bras. Jean-Paul Gaultier had made for her, but she never used them for anything yet. I thought that I would have the male dancers wear them, too. In this show, I had women wear men’s clothing and sometimes dressed men with a feminine tip. That’s because sometimes women have men’s feelings or attributes and vice versa. The Blond Ambition Tour was making a statement that sometimes there is a thin line that separates male and female attributes, making the classification of sex ambiguous. Also, it was important for us not to force people to watch the scene by shouting ‘Look at this!’ but to make people smile in spite of themselves by using humor especially when expressing sexuality. Madonna bloomed as a woman who incorporated sexuality into her artistry. At that point in time, women weren’t as open as men in expressing their sexuality in public and still taken seriously as artists. But Madonna could and did.”

–It is said that you put theater, fashion, and art to the direction for this tour and after the world realized this is how a pop concert should be, it changed the pop concert formula. How did you come up with those ideas?

“I was trained as an actor and a director. I was involved in theatrical productions from when I was in college. When Madonna asked me to direct the Blond Ambition Tour, she said she wanted to create something totally different from concerts that had been done before. We decided to create a show that was more than just singing and dancing. Our stage had large, elaborate sets, many costume changes and expressed various characters. Madonna appeared as a girl with curlers in her hair, a repentant sinner, and a mysterious mermaid. For me, ‘change’ and ‘contrast’ is important when creating work. In short, it means creating a completely different emotion right next to a proceeding one. For example, laughter after sadness or happiness after anger. By creating this roller coaster of emotions, we can keep moving people’s hearts or giving surprises. I wanted to make the Blond Ambition Tour not just a pop concert to watch but a theatrical event that impresses people. It’s no exaggeration to say that this tour was the beginning of theatrical type rock/pop concerts, which are now the norm. Humbly, it was a historical moment that changed the definition of concerts.”

–What do you think Michael Jackson and Madonna brought to their era?

“I think they were playing important roles as influencers who made changes in society’s movements, not only in America but on a world scale. For example, Madonna and I took the dance moves of Voguing, that was known only in gay clubs in New York, and used it for her song ‘Vogue’. At first, she didn’t think that “Vogue” would become that big of a success. She had placed the song in the middle of the concert, but I said ‘No! No! No! Vogue comes at the end of the show. This is going to be huge! This is going to blow their minds!’ When it comes to Michael, he often invited street dancers to the studios and danced with them. Michael learned a dance called the Back Slide from them, evolved it, and completed his own dance move called the Moonwalk. When he executed the Moonwalk in the TV special Motown 25, people were blown away thinking ‘What in the world is that?’ The credit of bringing movement from various cultures, which few people knew about, and making them world-class movements goes to Michael Jackson and Madonna. Also, they always said to me ‘Let’s make something that is totally new that the world has never seen before.’ We brought a lot of ideas out and played around with them. Especially, because Madonna was well versed in the visual arts and Michael in films and musicals, they created innovative modern rock and modern pop music by combining their strengths of classical elements to their works. For example, the monochrome music video of ‘Vogue’ was inspired by the black and white pictures by an American photographer named Horst from the 40s, and ‘Thriller’ was inspired by ‘An American Werewolf in London’. Through Michael Jackson and Madonna’s works, people not only renewed their understanding of how wonderful classical works were, but also were able to get new values and broaden their field of perspective by touching the most essential feature of art beyond the frame of pop music. That was exactly what we wanted to do.”

–I think that Michael Jackson and Madonna are one of a kind in the history of humankind.

“I agree. They had unique talents. In addition, they gave their best effort to make the best use of their potential. For example, when Michael didn’t know how to do a certain dance step, he would stand in front of the mirror and repeat the same movement thousands of times until he knew how to perform it perfectly. If you were close enough to see the amount of energy, concentration, and their incredible attitude that they put into their work, you would understand why Michael was able to become ‘Michael Jackson’ and why Madonna was able to become ‘Madonna’. They believed in and accepted their unique talents, and they wanted to bring out the best that they would be able to become. Also, they were blessed with wonderful creators such as directors and choreographers who brought out their talents to the best of their ability. All of their success had the perfect bond of creators where not one element could be excluded. But timing was the most important thing for their success. Thanks to the birth of MTV, their work was given an opportunity to be seen by billions of people at the same time. Remember, there was no Internet or social media back then. People all around the world were starving and were thirsty to see their icons, thinking ‘I want to see more! Give me more!’ That’s why fans listened to the records on repeat and watched the videos over and over. It warmed our hearts and made spectacular memories that we can never forget. Today, we are flooded with never ending information and people’s tastes are so diverse. The feeling of having your heart moved doesn’t last for a long time. It is interesting to think if Michael Jackson and Madonna could still become as famous as they were back then, if they debuted today. So, one important element that led them to become as successful as they were was the perfect timing of everything– talent, human resources, and the era they were born in. There could have been people who had almost the same talent and made almost the same effort but couldn’t become superstars. Probably, a little spell was cast on Michael Jackson and Madonna. And so, they were meant to be the unsurpassable ‘Only Ones in the World’.”

–I heard that you might plan to hold some workshops for Michael’s dances in the future.

“I was given a chance that nobody else can experience and was blessed with working with many talented artists and wonderful masterpieces. I hope that the happy circle of giving these irreplaceable gifts, such as the love and grace that I felt, to others keeps on going like an endless merry go round. Particularly, memories with Michael were special. He was a person who was like a child who never said mean words. What he taught me was to love people, to be considerate to people and to do good for the world. I’m hoping to hold workshops for Michael’s dances all over the world. I still want to share the magic that he shared with the world and me. Don’t you feel the same way?”

Vincent Paterson ◎ He started his career as an actor and a director for a theatrical company and started learning dance when he was 24. He played the gang leader in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, and was an assistant choreographer for “Thriller”. He got an exceptional promotion as a choreographer for “Smooth Criminal”, causing his life thereon to change drastically. Later, he was involved in a number of M.J.’s legends. For example, he choreographed for “Black and White”, directed the Bad World Tour in 1987, and directed a Super Bowl Halftime Show in 1993. He is also known as a choreographer for Madonna. He directed and choreographed the Blond Ambition Tour, which made her an instant superstar. It is said that Madonna couldn’t be the person she is today if it wasn’t for him. What’s more, he also directed a Cirque du Soleil show and many other projects. He is active in various areas beyond the boundaries of industries.


“Love people, be considerate to people.

Do good for the world.

That is what Michael taught me.”

“In Smooth Criminal,

inspiration for that lean

came from skiing.”

“Michael and Madonna

have always said to me

that they want to create something that’s completely new

that the world has never seen.”


Thank you for reading!

Please share!

Japanese version:


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One Billion For Michael Jackson Campaign #1Billion4MJ


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We were recently approached on Twitter by a Michael Jackson fan  Tudo Pelo Michael  a Brazilian fan, who had a great idea for a World-Wide campaign to celebrate Michael’s birthday this year with a wonderful gift to our beloved.

MJJJP is ever ready to shake the pom poms for any wonderful campaign, but even more so since Michael’s community is in so desperate need of a spirtiual uplifting. It’s been almost a year and a half of dealing with the lies in Leaving Neverland. All of the MJAdvocates who’e been investigating, researching and debunking the over 66 lies in the one-sided biased film by Reed.  The sharing and rehashing of this evilness can really take a toll on Michael’s Global family, so we need this campaign.

The MJGlobal family needs this focus on JOY – we’ve earned it – 

The campaign has a simple goal to reach ONE BILLOIN views on the Billie Jean Youtube video by Miichael’s birthday – Aug 29th 2020.  Below is the link:

We humbly request everyone in Michael’s loving world wide community to use their Social Media platforms to share this video link and the goal of #1Billion4MJ

 We need everyont to engage in copious amounts of clicking on Michael Jacksn’s Bille Jean You Tube video.

We actually need more than a million views per day to achieve this goal and we believe with the ❤️ that circulates for the man the world over, it can be accomplished.

We appreciate that MJVibe has already posted an article about our campaign and hope that other MJ forums, clubs and groups all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will do the same.

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The more attention and views we can draw to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean Video the better.

We know that this year and half has been highly stressful fot the Michael Jackson fan community in all parts of the world. We’ve been combating false stories and a media still determined to mischaracterize him and every turn.

We really need something joyful to focus our efforts on and this #1Billion4MJ is it.

Michael  created his  GLOBAL community without the  benefit of the intenet and the instant communications of social networking of Twitter, Facetime, YouTube, Instagram, Tik tok etc.  He stated repeatedly how much he loved his fans.

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NOW Michael Jackson’s loving Global Family has these netwrking capabilities at our fingertips and we can demonstrate our reciprocal love for Michael with just a click of a link.

We can use our collective voices to make this Birthday Gift for Michael a reality – and if we are diligent in this task, there are three other You Tube videos just ripe for obtaining the same Billion view status. If that occurs we will be able to gift Michael  Jackson another Guinness World Record.


Things to Remember When Viewing YouTube Videos**

YouTube system is able to determine which views are legitimate or intentional. Do not try to use Automatic player softwares to cheat the system. YouTube WILL  NOT count the views IF:

multiple devices are using the same IP
multiple tabs are open watching the same video
refreshing the page BEFORE video is complete

Using the “loop” option, muted plays or multiple views of same video by a Youtube Account holder will count as only ONE view- Don’t waste your time watching the video more than 3 times consecutively.

To have your views counted successfully, while logged into your YouTube account, you MUST:

Click the video, then view it NO MORE than 3 times consecutively.

After 3 consecutive views, watch 2 other MJ videos in between and then go back and view Billie Jean 3 times again.

Repeat this process, several times a day.


LOG OUT of your YouTube account and click the Billie Jean video, watch the video, refresh your page, Click, Watch, Refresh. Repeat this process several times a day.


Now is the time for the MJGlobal family to come to together in a great and sustained effort to gift Michael this wonderful gift on his birthday August 29, 2020. 

Will You Still Care?   🙏🏼

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**suggestions from Professonal Youtubers

2021 Update Link 



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Michael Jackson Dehumanized for Over Three Decades

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By Manu Bezamat

“Does it get more bizarre than it’s been getting lately?” — asked journalist Maureen Orth in the opening lines of a 2003 Vanity Fair article, whose absurd jabs at Michael Jackson include accusing him of using voodoo to defeat his enemies and having a prosthetic nose tip.

Jackson, of course, neither used voodoo nor had a fake nose (the latter claim being a widespread gossip that was put to rest for good by his autopsy report). However, he had, at that point, been the victim of relentless bullying by the media for almost 20 years.

But how had Orth managed to make such ludicrous claims in a mainstream publication and get away with it? What were the set of circumstances that allowed a journalist to viciously attack the integrity of Jackson, once the most famous man in the planet, without any proof, and still be believed?

The birth of the image of “Michael Jackson, the child molester”

The attacks on Michael Jackson’s public image started decades before Orth’s article was published. As early as the 1970s, a young Jackson saw himself forced to address the never-ending rumors about his love life. Reporters wanted to know who/if he was dating; they speculated whether he was gay and even if he had a sex change.

As the years went by, the scrutiny of his personal life only grew worse. By the mid-1980s, the focus shifted from his love life to his alleged eccentricities. It was around that time that the tabloid media coined the term “Wacko Jacko”, one that Jackson hated and that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

From the mid-1980s onward, the stories spiraled out of control: he slept in an oxygen chamber, he’d bought the Elephant man’s bones, he’d bleached his skin. They were all proven lies, which had, nevertheless, found in the scandal-thirsty public a growing niche of consumers.

You see, Jackson was a complex figure, a man who was, in many ways, ahead of his time. His vision and his talents in song-writing, singing and dancing became the blueprint for generations to come; his use of his platform to promote social change made him one of the world’s biggest humanitarians.

But as larger than life as he appeared to be sometimes, he was only a man — a man who grew up under unique circumstances, that yearned to live a normal life, and who didn’t shy away from speaking publicly about his personal trials and tribulations. He owed the world nothing, yet, he spoke.

His critics weren’t having it. They were more invested in the freakish character created by the media; they longed for answers, just not the answers Jackson had gladly given them: that he’d never had a childhood, that his changing skin-tone was the product of an incurable disease. His words fell on deaf ears.

By 1993, the rumors had grown to such a proportion that they threatened to overshadow his work. Jackson and his team, realizing how successfully the media had dehumanized him, went on a PR offensive that included an interview to daytime TV host Oprah Winfrey, in which the singer spoke openly about various issues, including his vitiligo, for the first time.

Continue with this article at  MJBeats

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Michael Jackson, Otherness And Diversity

Michael Jackson, Otherness & Diversity

by Manuela Bezamat

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During his lifetime and even in his death, Michael Jackson has been accused of voluntarily erasing his black features in an attempt at “becoming white”, and therefore gaining access to the exclusive world of the dominating elite.

His critics paint him out to be nothing short of a bigot, someone whose admiration for the standards of white America made him not only alter his own appearance but also see the world through these lenses. But is it possible that the man who wrote the diversity anthem Black or White was, in fact, a bigot?

In a previous thread (see below) we spoke about Michael’s race/ethnicity and how it was impossible for him to ever cease being black, shedding light on his internal perceptions of himself and his community.

In this thread, which complements the other, we’ll focus on the outside world, on how Michael perceived other cultures – in summary, how he saw difference, proving that his personality and his beliefs are the opposite of what’s expected from a prejudiced and intolerant person.

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Before we dig into Michael’s relationship with other cultures/ethnicities, let’s take a quick look at some concepts that will be used in this thread, and that belong to the field of Anthropology: Otherness, Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism. When interacting with people from other ethnicities/cultures we’re faced with Otherness, defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being other or different”. In such situations, it becomes clear that our cultural habits and beliefs aren’t universal.

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Some see these encounters as an opportunity to learn, while others respond by judging people by the social/cultural standards of their own group, believing them to be superior. These people incur in Ethnocentrism (‘ethnos’ – nation, cultural group; ‘centric’ – center).

German anthropologist Franz Boas was one of the pioneers in fighting Ethnocentrism in his field. Going against the main anthropological current, which placed each culture in an evolutionary scale, he instead vouched for them to be analyzed within their own cultural standards.

Boas’ theory, called Cultural Relativism, was a product of his intense fieldwork in the late 19th century. Living with the Inuits of Baffin Island, he concluded that learning their habits/language was essential to understanding them and denaturalizing his own cultural standards.

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Polish-born anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski took the debate further. Spending years among the natives of the Trobriand Islands, he concluded that fieldwork was essential to grasp “the native’s point of view, (…) to realize his vision of his world”.

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Even though Boas’ and Malinowski’s works are complex, their message is simple – it’s only by having continuous/frequent contact with Otherness that we avoid the pitfalls of Ethnocentrism and realize that we’re all ethnic beings, none better than the other.

You may ask what any of this has to do with Michael Jackson. The answer is – everything.

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Michael Jackson was naturally empathic. His understanding and concern about others were summarized by an old proverb he often recited: “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins”.

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His natural empathy was only matched by his intellectual curiosity. Bob Sanger, his longtime lawyer, said that his personal library had 10,000 books and that they’d often talk about “psychology, Freud and Jung, (…) black history and sociology dealing with race issues.”

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Michael also travelled from an early age for work, both inside and outside of the US. His tours allowed him to visit dozens of countries around the world – from China to Brazil, not to mention his personal trips, like the ones he took to Africa.

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His sense of empathy, his intellectual curiosity and his travels, when combined, gave Michael a rare perspective, one that can be found in trained anthropologists – that humankind is comprised of a myriad of ethnicities/cultures that should be appreciated in their uniqueness.

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Michael took it even further – he discovered that Otherness and diversity aren’t, as some would think, a source of weakness or conflict, but a source of strength and unity. From Otherness comes Oneness, a point of view that he expressed in his music and his humanitarian work.

In a 1979 interview to Jet Magazine, he stated: “I’m really not a prejudiced person at all (…) if you look at the many wonders inside the human bodies—the different colors of organs…and all these colors do different things in the human body – why can’t we do it as people?”

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The following year, Michael and Jackie Jackson co-wrote a song called “Can You Feel It”, the third single out of the Jacksons’ album Triumph (1980). The song speaks about unity and the world coming together.

The lyrics are poignant: “All the colors of the world should be lovin’ each other wholeheartedly (…)”; “Spread the word and try to teach the man who’s hating his brother, when hate won’t do, when we’re all the same, ’cause the blood inside me is inside you.”

In late 1980, Michael had the idea of making a film out of the song. The result was “The Triumph”, a 9 min+ visual masterpiece starring the Jackson brothers in outer space, delivering a message of love to people of multiple ethnic backgrounds.

Two moments in the film stand out. First, the prelude, composed by Michael, which speaks about the “beginning”, where “men and women of every color and shape (…) would ignore the beauty in each other”, but “never lose sight of the dream of a better world, that they could unite.”

Later, people of all ethnicities are shown staring at a black hole, where a single peacock feather appears. A native-American man emerges from the crowd and an African-American boy holds his hand. Soon everyone else does the same, and the single feather turns into a full plumage.

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The highly symbolic nature of this film can’t be ignored. In the peacock feather scene, the message is clear – while one feather/culture is beautiful by itself, it’s only when all feathers/cultures join together that the full beauty is unleashed. From Otherness comes Oneness.

The idea of Oneness shows up again in the 1985 charitable global hit “We are the World”, co-written by Michael and Lionel Richie. The song, which speaks about the world coming together for a good cause, managed to raise roughly $ 60 million for the famine in Ethiopia.

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Captain EO, a 17+ min 3D film made for Disney that came out in 1986, had Michael play the part of an intergalactic captain on a mission to save a planet from the ruling of its evil queen, played by Anjelica Houston.

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The two songs featured in the film, “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me” have EO bring the message of a new era, where love and unity overcome fear and hate.

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In “Another Part of Me”, which later featured in Michael’s 1987 Bad album, the lyrics follow the pattern of “Can You Feel It” – “The planets are linin’ up, we’re bringin’ brighter days. They’re all in line waitin’ for you, can’t you see? You’re just another part of me.”

Even if his previous work referenced diversity, the Dangerous album (1991) and its short films took Michael’s relationship with other cultures to a new level. It was then that his message about diversity became louder and more explicit than ever.

The first track, “Jam”, sets the tone for the album by bringing up Oneness again – “Nation to nation all the world must come together, face the problems that we see then maybe somehow we can work it out”. From Otherness comes Oneness.

“Heal the World”, the timeless humanitarian song that prompted many to look more kindly upon their neighbor for the first time, is fascinating in that it combines three elements that summarize Michael’s worldview: humanitarian work, diversity and children.

The Heal the World short film illustrates this by showing children from all over the world in distress. The message is clear – the children of the world shouldn’t have to suffer.

Michael took action by creating the Heal the World Foundation in 1992. In a HTW press conference, he announced the donation of tons of supplies to war-torn Sarajevo and actions aimed at inner-city children, also speaking against prejudice and ethnic hatred.

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The 1993 Super Bowl halftime show included what was possibly his most touching performance of “Heal the World”. The segment starts with the audience performing a card stunt, which creates the image of children of different ethnicities to the sound of “We Are the World”.

Then, as “Heal the World” starts playing, Michael is joined onstage by people from various cultures – many dressed in traditional garments – who sing together and hold hands as a balloon in the shape of planet Earth is inflated at center stage.

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The intersection of children and diversity would provide a lifelong fascination for Michael. In a 2003 documentary, he mentioned that he considered adopting two children from each continent, and one of his most prized personal possessions was this painting below.

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In all of Michael Jackson’s body of work there’s one song and accompanying short film that are considered not only the summary of his thoughts on race, Otherness and diversity, but one of the landmarks of pop culture: the unmistakable “Black or White”.

The first single out of Dangerous, “Black or White” was released in November 11, 1991, a turbulent year in terms of world history. That was the year that the Soviet Union collapsed, the Gulf war ended and the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia intensified.

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In this scenario of hopelessness and change, a young black entertainer brought about a message of hope and positivity, shifting the focus from the flaws of humanity to its beauty and ingenuity.

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“Black or White” stayed at number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks, also reaching the top of the charts in various other countries around the world. The B or W short film debuted simultaneously in 27 countries on November 14, to an estimated audience of 500 million people.

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The B or W short film is at times symbolic and at other times explicit in its message. Michael and Vincent Patterson, his choreographer, had conceived it as a narrative in which the singer would visit different cultural settings around the world.

The film starts by showing a typical middle-class household in suburban USA. In the living room, dad watches sports on TV while mom reads a tabloid newspaper. They represent the intellectually divested/short-sighted mainstream society, which is blind in its Ethnocentrism.

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In true Michael Jackson fashion – the singer saw children as the bearers of endless curiosity, while also lacking the prejudices and restraints of the adults – it’s up to their son, played by Macaulay Culkin, to open their eyes to a world filled with endless possibilities.

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The power of the son’s message literally blows dad through the roof, landing him in a different reality, where people have different ways of life. He’s then introduced to a new character, Michael Jackson, who’s taking part in a dance ritual with native Africans.

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From that point forward, Michael, like an anthropologist, becomes an interpreter of cultures, seamlessly travelling from one to the other while either taking part in their dance or dancing to his own rhythm.

The sequence where he goes from dancing with the African natives to dancing in a studio with the traditional Thai dancers and then “breaking free” from the studio setting to join the Native-Americans in a ritual in the desert is particularly poignant.

In the making of B or W, Michael was unhappy with John Landis’ original idea of just having him dance in front of a gray background. He understood the symbolic importance of interacting with other cultures, and that by joining them, he showed that they were different, but equal.

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The scene of Michael with the Native-Americans has the natives wearing traditional garments and includes the original sounds of their chants. The power and the beauty of this culture can be felt as everyone’s surrounded by men storming in, riding horses – not a cowboy in sight.

From the desert we’re taken to an urban environment, where Michael interacts with an Indian native. What jumps out in this scene is the contrast between the “exoticness” and warmth of the woman and the soullessness of the industrial background.

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Two issues arise from this scene. 1) The meaning of “exoticness”, this ethnocentric category that stigmatizes Otherness 2) The erasure of traditional cultures by our capitalist society. By joining the dancer, Michael picks the side of diversity and understanding.

Travelling to Russia, Michael joins dancers in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, evoking feelings of brotherhood. The scene morphs into a glass globe, which is picked up by a white baby, sitting next to a black baby on top of planet Earth, suggesting a future of racial harmony.

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The next scene, the most racially-charged of them all, has Michael defiantly singing “I ain’t scared of your brother, I ain’t scared of no sheets, I ain’t scared of nobody, girl, when the going gets mean” to bigots and racists, against footage of a burning cross.

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From there we’re taken to the inner city, where Michael is seen among children of different ethnicities – the new generation – singing powerful lyrics “it’s not about races, just places, faces (…) I’m not going to spend my life being a color.”

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The next scene shows Michael atop the Statue of Liberty. As the camera zooms out, he’s surrounded by monuments from all over the world. It becomes clear that, while he sees the world from the viewpoint of his culture, he considers other cultures to be equal to his.

The end of the short film brings the iconic (then ground-breaking) morphing segment, where men and women of various ethnic backgrounds merge faces while singing repeatedly “it’s black, it’s white, it’s tough for you to get by.”

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The Black or White short film hit the world like a ton of bricks. People of every culture were mesmerized with what they’d seen – the biggest star in the planet showing, through astonishing visual effects, that he appreciated their way of life, and that it’s okay to be different.

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In the following years, the Dangerous and HIStory tours took the singer to countless cities in Europe, Asia and South America, helping cement his vocation as a spokesman for world cultures. Even those that didn’t speak English felt like they could relate to the man and his music.

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Michael Jackson’s message of tolerance, diversity and racial/cultural harmony helped shape the minds of generations of people around the world, that would continue to spread his values from that point forward. The singer had reached his goal: from Otherness came Oneness. //

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LECOCQ, Richard (@richardjllecocq)

ALLARD, François “Michael Jackson: All the Songs – The Story Behind Every Track”

SMALLCOMBE, Mike (@mikesmallcombe1) “Making Michael: Inside the Career of Michael Jackson”

ROBERTS, Randall “Michael Jackson’s lawyer, Bob Sanger, talks to West Coast Sound about the pop star, his life and his reading habits” (LA Weekly)

KELLOGG, Carolyn “Michael Jackson, the bookworm” (Los Angeles Times)

HIRSHEY, Gerri “Michael Jackson: life as a man in the magical kingdom” (Rolling Stone) “Jackson interview seen by 14m” (BBC News)

FAILES, Ian “An oral history of morphing in Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’” (Cartoon Brew)

Michael Jackson official website

Oregon State University’s Anthropological Glossary

KING, Charles “ Genius at work: how Franz Boas created the field of Cultural
Anthropology” (Columbia Magazine)

“Bronislaw Malinowski – LSE pioneer of social anthropology” (LSE website)
Discover Anthropology website; the works of Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski.

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