MICHAEL JACKSON : REMEMBERING THE KING OF POP'S ICONIC MUSIC VIDEOS AND His Admiration for BLACK WOMEN
There is not a moment of my childhood and teenaged years that aren't filled with Micheal Jackson music, or imagery. Michael Jackson's impact on music, pop culture and dance will live forever. He is an icon that is unmatched. While Micheal Jackson was never know for being a sex symbol or a symbol of traditional masculinity, he did do one thing and that was portray images of beautiful black women in his music videos.
Micheal Jackson was the first black artist to appear on MTV. At the height of music videos and music video production Micheal Jackson told stories in his videos stories of black women as queens, goddesses, women to be courted, protected and objects of desire. Not 90's Uncle Luke rachet lust , but passion and desire.
On what would have been Micheal Jackson's 60th birthday, I celebrate the Michael Jackson's contribution to music videos and the beauty in black women.
Keep it in the Closet will always be one of my favorite Micheal Jackson songs, of course the beat hits in only the way a 90s beat can hit. You just have to rock with it, it's undeniable and before you know it you are showing out and sliding across the floor doing a mom dance. Who cares? These beats bring out the best in everyone. What was different about the video was it was dusty, dirty, raw and dare I say ... it was sexy. It was the most sexy video we'd ever seen and it featured a new model, a dark skinned goddess. She danced, twirled, she made us all rethink our feelings about Micheal Jackson. The video was undeniably sexy. Herb Ritz's genius, the sepia tones and the tattered and sweaty costumes made the video alluring and sensual.
I remember each video, in each video there was a woman who looked like me or my aunt, or my mom. Representation matters. They were beautiful and they would hold their own in scenes with the most iconic man in the history of music. I never felt like I couldn't do anything, as a matter of fact in the 90s I was going through one of the ugliest of the pre-teen teen ugly phases. These videos and images of gangly, pretty, alluring black women meant that one day I might be too be chased down an abandoned alley or stranded in a desert dancing with Micheal Jackson. Kidding. It meant that I too could be the star of the show.
This song was about a Liberian girl who literally came in and changed is world ! Well, here is a bit of a geography lesson: Liberia is a Sub-Saharan nation in West Africa located at 6 °N, 9° W. It borders the north Atlantic Ocean.
As a child I thought MJ was singing about a librarian, reading him a love story. I now can only imagine that the King of Pop was overcome by Liberian black girl magic ... Who opens the video? None other than legendary supermodel, Beverly Johnson.
Liberian girl, Verse 1:
You came and you changed my world
A love so brand new
You came and you changed my world
A feeling so true ...
The Way You Make Me Feel was something epic. I remember being in the electronics section of Wal-Mart with my grandmother, I was mesmerized by the video. I stood there, watching in absolute awe. There was another beautiful black woman, she was slender and she looked like me - or people I knew. She was fun, she was having fun with her friends and just when the video got good and MJ started humping the floor, my grandmother dragged me out of the store. It still remains one of my favorite music videos.
Then there is Remember the Time, Michael Jackson risked his life for Queen Nefertiti. Somalian supermodel Iman was cast as the Egyptian Queen. She was regal, beautiful and captivating.
More than the queen there were images of Arabic women dancing, there were dark skinned, fair skinned, braids and beads of all styles and the dance break was all the talk when I got to school the next day. Michael Jackson's impact on music and pop culture is written in history. I am forever grateful for his contribution to our culture and tribute to black women.
What is your favorite Micheal Jackson video ... I can't pick one!