It was my birthday and I knew that I would have to get home and spend some time with the family. My children always look forward to this time of the year. Dad’s birthday today followed by Mummy’s the next day. Did they really plan this coincidence? Not really! It is wifey’s birthday today by the way. Another July babe.
I was also hoping I could catch a little bit of Michael Jackson’s memorial service on “CNN” or “E” or “Sky”. It was going to be a global affair. It brought back memories of Princess Diana. At the time, I was working in Westminster and I was at the epic center, so to say, of activities. That period, I thought, I would never witness again. WRONG! HOW WRONG!!
Michael Jackson, a friend of the late Princess Diana, was to attract even more worldwide TV audience. Mt 5 year old son, Gov, can no longer walk around the house without moon walking. That is the effect one man has had on the planet.
Let us be honest with ourselves, this man was far from perfect, but I have a sneaking feeling that the angels would applaud him on his journey to heaven.
He knew he had the talent. He blessed the world with this talent. To be on stage for over 40 years. 40 long years is no joke. That could only have been with the help of the Almighty one.
What can be said that was not said yesterday?
What emotions were not exposed yesterday?
The only painful thing is that, like everything that is to be missed, it is not really appreciated when around.
There were so many moments for me yesterday while watching the memorial live, courtesy of CNN. The pregnant Jennifer Hudson was at her best said wifey as I made my way upstairs to join the children who were glued to the screen.”Daddy, you needed to have seen Jennifer”, my excited daughter said. “She was very good”.
I sat down to experience MJ’s history, to watch His-Story narrated, sang to, danced to and cried to by his fellow entertainers, friends and family.
I then asked wifey if Usher had sang, and as if by magic, Usher answered me by strolling on to the stage to sing “Gone Too soon”. It was surreal.
Larry King, Dionne Warwick, LeVar Burton, Mariah Carey, Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Lou Ferrigno, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Lionel Richie, Brooke Shields, Kobe Bryant, Berry Gordy, Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, John Mayer, Chris Brown, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Rev. Al Sharpton, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martin Luther King III, Bernice A. King, Shaheen Jafargholi (finalist on “Britain’s Got Talent”), Pastor Lucious Smith (family friend), Ron Boyd (family friend), Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Mickey Rooney and wife, Jan Chamberlin, Mario Lopez, Corey Feldman.
Michael had a dream, to unite the world through his music, through love. Well he definitely took a small step step for man in that direction, but definitely a giant leap for humanity in the true sense of its meaning.
I always wondered how he would be remembered once the Good Lord decided MJ’s time was up. I must confess, its is still a shock to me that it was this soon, because you just woould never think someone such as MJ, a global icon, would depart unannounced. Stevie Wonder who said ”This is a moment that I wish that I didn’t live to see come”, went on to add that - ”but as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good and I do know that as much as we may feel – and we do – that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more”. How true, so, so true.
Berry Gordon, the man God chose to give Michael and his brothers a platform to exhibit their talent said ”Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down. Though it ended way too soon, Michael’s life was beautiful.”Sure there was some sad times and maybe some questionable decisions on his part, but Michael Jackson accomplished everything he dreamed of.”
The speech that gave me goose pimples was delivered by the eloquent and much controversial and much feared speaker The Reverend Al Sharpton. This speech was very powerful and so true.
During his emotional speech, Sharpton credited Michael for bringing people of all races together. “It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. It was Michael Jackson that made us sing ‘we are the world,’ to feed the hungry long before Live Aid.”
“It was that comfort level that kids from Japan and Ghana and France and Iowa and Pennsylvania got comfortable enough with each other so later it wasn’t strange to us to watch Oprah on television,” the reverend continued.
“Those young kids grew up from being teenage comfortable fans of Michael to being 40 years old and being comfortable to vote for a person of color to be the president of the United States of America,” he continued.
“Michael did that,” Sharpton said. “Michael made us love each other. Michael taught us to stand with each other.”
“I first met Michael around 1970. From that day as a cute kid to this moment, he never gave up dreaming. It was that dream that changed culture all over the world.
“When Michael started, it was a different world. But because Michael kept going, because he didn’t accept limitations, because he refused to let people decide his boundaries, he opened up the whole world.
“He put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the colour curtain. When now our videos are shown and magazines put us on the cover, it was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. Michael made us love each other.
He then addressed Michael’s three children Michael Joseph Jr. aka Prince Michael, 12; Paris Michael Katherine, 11; and Prince Michael II aka ‘Blanket’, 7.
“I want his children to know there was nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with.”
The speech prompted a standing ovation, with Michael’s daughter Paris being among the first to stand. Whether you agree or disagree with Rev. Al Sharpton’s statements, he gave one powerful speech! Check out his speech below and let us know your thoughts.
So what would my lasting memories of MJ be?
Firstly his ability to recognise his talent. Everyone is gifted with one, some die not recognising it, some choose to simply ignore it out of fear or ignorance. Michael confronted his and shared it with us all.
Secondly his ability to do it his way. Not many have the guts to put on a white glove on just one hand. Not many have the audacity to attempt what he accomplished.
Thirdly for his love. This man cared, as simple as ABC. He went beyond what others would consider crazy. He was crazily in loive with the world.
Fourtly, his music. You need to listen more to his lyrics and the message they had.
Michael this is my own little tribute to you, a god here on earth. A god who knew he was created in God Almighty’s image and recognised that he had the power to create.
I applaud you.
Rest in peace MJ.
…believe it or not, I wrote this tribute accompanied by the tune of “heal the world” in my head.