Just when you thought Michael Jackson has run out of records to break, the King of Pop made history again!
“Love Never Felt So Good” climbed into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The much-missed music legend became the first artist to land top 10 hits in five different decades.
Today in Black History:
The original album, holds the Guinness World Records title for best-selling album of all time. It has been certified 29x Multi-platinum by the RIAA, featured seven top 10 hits, spent 37 weeks at the top of the charts and sold more than 104 million copies worldwide and counting…
Besides all that, Thriller had significant cultural influence. Michael broke unspoken racial barriers between pop, rock and dance music. He made music almost everyone could love.
It’s not often that the whole world listens to the same music, and there’s great power in that. You can’t have it unless just about every constituency is represented. That feat is probably one Michael’s greatest triumphs.
“Michael Jackson continues to inspire people in every corner of the world as someone who chose to use the extraordinary gifts and talents he was blessed with to deliver messages of hope, love and peace. Michael’s legacy is more than his remarkable artistic accomplishments. It also includes an indescribably unique spirit that still connects Michael today with countless fans in a way that knows no borders, no cultural barriers and which speaks a common language of unity and compassion. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with his children as we fondly remember the Michael Jackson whose friendship, humor and kindness joyously touched so many lives.”
Remembering Michael Jackson: The Global Humanitarian
One of the most generous humanitarians to ever have graced this planet with their physical presence returned to the essence 2 years ago, today. Although much mention is not made of it – while still physically alive, the generous Michael Jackson donated millions of dollars, as well as countless hours, to numerous charities and other organizations which assisted many others in need…
Read more >>> Hip-Hop Wired
Those “Crazy Michael Jackson Fans:” Maybe we should listen?
By Rev. Barbara Kaufmann
Read article > >> InnerMichael.com
Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart,
for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr. President,
for your kind invitation to me, which I am so honored, to accept. I
also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years
served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to
form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike
qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive
and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our
director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to
the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as
Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.
I am humbled
to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such
notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan,
Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I’ve even heard that Kermit the Frog has
made an appearance here, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Kermit’s
message that it’s not easy being green. I’m sure he didn’t find it any
easier being up here than I do!
As I looked
around Oxford today, I couldn’t help but be aware of the majesty and
grandeur of this great institution, not to mention the brilliance of
the great and gifted minds that have roamed these streets for
centuries. The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatest
philosophical and scientific geniuses – they have also ushered forth
some of the most cherished creators of children’s literature, from
J.R.R. Tolkien to CS Lewis. Today I was allowed to hobble into the
dining hall in Christ Church to see Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
immortalized in the stained glass windows. And even one of my own
fellow Americans, the beloved Dr Seuss graced these halls and then went
on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of children
throughout the world.
I suppose I
should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this
evening. Friends, I do not claim to have the academic expertise of
other speakers who have addressed this hall, just as they could lay
little claim at being adept at the moonwalk – and you know, Einstein in
particular was really TERRIBLE at that.
But I do have
a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people
will ever see. Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of
parchment and ink – it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge
that are written on the human heart, chiseled on the human soul, and
engraved on the human psyche. And friends, I have encountered so much
in this relatively short life of mine that I still cannot believe I am
only 42. I often tell Shmuley that in soul years I’m sure that I’m at
least 80 – and tonight I even walk like I’m 80! So please harken to my
message, because what I have to tell you tonight can bring healing to
humanity and healing to our planet.
grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my
artistic and professional aspirations realized early in my lifetime.
But these friends, are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are
not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who
belted out Rockin’ Robin and Ben to adoring crowds was not indicative
of the boy behind the smile.
come before you less as an icon of pop (whatever that means anyway),
and more as an icon of a generation, a generation that no longer knows
what it means to be children.
All of us are
products of our childhood. But I am the product of a lack of a
childhood, an absence of that precious and wondrous age when we frolic
playfully without a care in the world, basking in the adoration of
parents and relatives, where our biggest concern is studying for that
big spelling test come Monday morning.
Those of you
who are familiar with the Jackson Five know that I began performing at
the tender age of five and that ever since then, I haven’t stopped
dancing or singing. But while performing and making music undoubtedly
remain as some of my greatest joys, when I was young I wanted more than
anything else to be a typical little boy. I wanted to build tree
houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my
friends. But fate had it otherwise and all I could do was envy the
laughter and playtime that seemed to be going on all around me.
There was no
respite from my professional life. But on Sundays I would go
Pioneering, the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah’s
Witnesses do. And it was then that I was able to see the magic of other
Since I was
already a celebrity, I would have to don a disguise of fat suit, wig,
beard and glasses and we would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern
California, going door-to-door or making the rounds of shopping malls,
distributing our Watchtower magazine. I loved to set foot in all those
regular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy
armchairs with kids playing Monopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all
those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes of everyday life. Many, I
know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me
they were mesmerizing.
I used to
think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I
believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share
those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the
great child star of the 1930s, and 40s, we said nothing to each other
at first; we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me
that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley
I do not tell
you this to gain your sympathy but to impress upon you my first
important point: It is not just Hollywood child stars that have
suffered from a non-existent childhood. Today, it’s a universal
calamity, a global catastrophe. Childhood has become the great casualty
of modern-day living. All around us we are producing scores of kids who
have not had the joy, who have not been accorded the right, who have
not been allowed the freedom, or knowing what it’s like to be a kid.
are constantly encouraged to grow up faster, as if this period known as
childhood is a burdensome stage, to be endured and ushered through, as
swiftly as possible. And on that subject, I am certainly one of the
world’s greatest experts.
Ours is a
generation that has witnessed the abrogation of the parent-child
covenant. Psychologists are publishing libraries of books detailing the
destructive effects of denying one’s children the unconditional love
that is so necessary to the healthy development of their minds and
character. And because of all the neglect, too many of our kids have,
essentially, to raise themselves. They are growing more distant from
their parents, grandparents and other family members, as all around us
the indestructible bond that once glued together the generations,
has bred a new generation; Generation O let us call it, that has now
picked up the torch from Generation X. The O stands for a generation
that has everything on the outside – wealth, success, fancy clothing,
and fancy cars, but an aching emptiness on the inside. That cavity in
our chests, that barrenness at our core, that void in our center is the
place where the heart once beat and which love once occupied.
And it’s not
just the kids who are suffering. It’s the parents as well. For the more
we cultivate little-adults in kids’-bodies, the more removed we
ourselves become from our own child-like qualities, and there is so
much about being a child that is worth retaining in adult life.
and gentlemen, is the human family’s most precious legacy, its richest
bequest, its golden inheritance. And it is a treasure that is handed
down from one generation to another. Previous ages may not have had the
wealth we enjoy. Their houses may have lacked electricity, and they
squeezed their many kids into small homes without central heating. But
those homes had no darkness, nor were they cold. They were lit bright
with the glow of love and they were warmed snugly by the very heat of
the human heart. Parents, undistracted by the lust for luxury and
status, accorded their children primacy in their lives.
As you all
know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas
Jefferson referred to as “certain inalienable rights”. And while we
Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has
never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights,
and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children
worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.
therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a
Children’s Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:
1. The right to be loved without having to earn it
2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it
3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing
4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting
5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news
6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools
7. The right to be thought of as adorable – (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).
foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human
consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of
love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if
you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a
part, you have to know that you are loved.
years ago, when I was just about to start my Bad tour, a little boy
came with his parents to visit me at home in California. He was dying
of cancer and he told me how much he loved my music and me. His parents
told me that he wasn’t going to live, that any day he could just go,
and I said to him: “Look, I am going to be coming to your town in
Kansas to open my tour in three months. I want you to come to the show.
I am going to give you this jacket that I wore in one of my videos.”
His eyes lit up and he said: “You are gonna GIVE it to me?” I said
“Yeah, but you have to promise that you will wear it to the show.” I
was trying to make him hold on. I said: “When you come to the show I
want to see you in this jacket and in this glove” and I gave him one of
my rhinestone gloves – and I never usually give the rhinestone gloves
away. And he was just in heaven.
But maybe he
was too close to heaven, because when I came to his town, he had
already died, and they had buried him in the glove and jacket. He was
just 10 years old. God knows, I know, that he tried his best to hold
on. But at least when he died, he knew that he was loved, not only by
his parents, but even by me, a near stranger, I also loved him. And
with all of that love he knew that he didn’t come into this world
alone, and he certainly didn’t leave it alone.
If you enter
this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the
same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with. A
professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may
crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might
vanquish you, but you will still triumph. How could any of them truly
prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy
of love. The rest is just packaging.
But if you
don’t have that memory of being loved, you are condemned to search the
world for something to fill you up. But no matter how much money you
make or how famous you become, you will still fell empty. What you are
really searching for is unconditional love, unqualified acceptance. And
that was the one thing that was denied to you at birth.
me paint a picture for you. Here is a typical day in America – six
youths under the age of 20 will commit suicide, 12 children under the
age of 20 will die from firearms – remember this is a DAY, not a year –
399 kids will be arrested for drug abuse, 1,352 babies will be born to
teen mothers. This is happening in one of the richest, most developed
countries in the history of the world.
Yes, in my
country there is an epidemic of violence that parallels no other
industrialized nation. These are the ways young people in America
express their hurt and their anger. But don’t think that there is not
the same pain and anguish among their counterparts in the United
Kingdom. Studies in this country show that every single hour, three
teenagers in the UK inflict harm upon themselves, often by cutting or
burning their bodies or taking an overdose. This is how they have
chosen to cope with the pain of neglect and emotional agony.
In Britain, as
many as 20% of families will only sit down and have dinner together
once a year. Once a year! And what about the time-honored tradition of
reading your kid a bedtime story? Research from the 1980s showed that
children who are read to, had far greater literacy and significantly
outperformed their peers at school. And yet, less than 33% of British
children ages two to eight have a regular bedtime story read to them.
You may not think much of that until you take into account that 75% of
their parents DID have that bedtime story when they were that age.
Clearly, we do
not have to ask ourselves where all of this pain, anger, and violent
behavior comes from. It is self-evident that children are thundering
against the neglect, quaking against the indifference and crying out
just to be noticed. The various child protection agencies in the US say
that millions of children are victims of maltreatment in the form of
neglect, in the average year. Yes, neglect. In rich homes, privileged
homes, wired to the hilt with every electronic gadget. Homes where
parents come home, but they’re not really home, because their heads are
still at the office. And their kids? Well, their kids just make do with
whatever emotional crumbs they get. And you don’t get much from endless
TV, computer games, and videos.
cold numbers which for me, wrench the soul and shake the spirit, should
indicate to you why I have devoted so much of my time and resources
into making our new Heal the Kids initiative a colossal success.
Our goal is
simple – to recreate the parent/child bond, renew its promise and light
the way forward for all the beautiful children who are destined one day
to walk this earth.
But since this
is my first public lecture, and you have so warmly welcomed me into
your hearts, I feel that I want to tell you more. We each have our own
story, and in that sense statistics can become personal.
They say that
parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another.
I have discovered that getting parents to re-dedicate themselves to
their children is only half the story. The other half is preparing the
children to re-accept their parents.
When I was
very young I remember that we had this crazy mutt of a dog named “Black
Girl,” a mix of wolf and retriever. Not only wasn’t she much of a guard
dog, she was such a scared and nervous thing that it is a wonder she
did not pass out every time a truck rumbled by, or a thunderstorm swept
through Indiana. My sister Janet and I gave that dog so much love, but
we never really won back the sense of trust that had been stolen from
her by her previous owner. We knew he used to beat her. We didn’t know
with what. But whatever it was, it was enough to suck the spirit right
out of that dog.
A lot of kids
today are hurt puppies who have weaned themselves off the need for
love. They couldn’t care less about their parents. Left to their own
devices, they cherish their independence. They have moved on and have
left their parents behind.
Then there are
the far worse cases of children who harbor animosity and resentment
toward their parents, so that any overture that their parents might
undertake would be thrown forcefully back in their face.
don’t want any of us to make this mistake. That’s why I’m calling upon
all the world’s children – beginning with all of us here tonight – to
forgive our parents, if we felt neglected. Forgive them and teach them
how to love again.
weren’t surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The
strain and tension that exists in my relationship with my own father is
well documented. My father is a tough man and he pushed my brothers and
me hard, from the earliest age, to be the best performers we could be.
He had great
difficulty showing affection. He never really told me he loved me. And
he never really complimented me either. If I did a great show, he would
tell me it was a good show. And if I did an OK show, he told me it was
a lousy show.
intent, above all else, on making us a commercial success. And at that
he was more than adept. My father was a managerial genius and my
brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to
the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and
under his guidance I couldn’t miss a step.
But what I
really wanted was a Dad. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my
father never did that. He never said I love you while looking me
straight in the eye; he never played a game with me. He never gave me a
piggyback ride; he never threw a pillow at me, or a water balloon.
But I remember
once when I was about four years old, there was a little carnival and
he picked me up and put me on a pony. It was a tiny gesture, probably
something he forgot five minutes later. But because of that moment I
have this special place in my heart for him. Because that’s how kids
are, the little things mean so much to them and for me, that one moment
meant everything. I only experienced it that one time, but it made me
feel really good, about him and the world.
But now I am a
father myself, and one day I was thinking about my own children, Prince
and Paris and how I wanted them to think of me when they grow up. To be
sure, I would like them to remember how I always wanted them with me
wherever I went, how I always tried to put them before everything else.
But there are also challenges in their lives. Because my kids are
stalked by paparazzi, they can’t always go to a park or a movie with
So what if
they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth?
Why weren’t we given an average childhood like all the other kids, they
might ask? And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the
benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: “Our daddy did
the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may
not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to
give us all the love in the world.”
I hope that
they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I
willingly made for them, and not criticize the things they had to give
up, or the errors I’ve made, and will certainly continue to make, in
raising them. For we have all been someone’s child, and we know that
despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur.
That’s just being human.
And when I
think about this, of how I hope that my children will not judge me
unkindly, and will forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my
own father and despite my earlier denials, I am forced to admit that me
must have loved me. He did love me, and I know that.
little things that showed it. When I was a kid I had a real sweet tooth
– we all did. My favorite food was glazed doughnuts and my father knew
that. So every few weeks I would come downstairs in the morning and
there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed doughnuts – no note,
no explanation – just the doughnuts. It was like Santa Claus.
would think about staying up late at night, so I could see him leave
them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn’t want to ruin the
magic for fear that he would never do it again. My father had to leave
them secretly at night; so as no one might catch him with his guard
down. He was scared of human emotion, he didn’t understand it or know
how to deal with it. But he did know doughnuts.
And when I
allow the floodgates to open up, there are other memories that come
rushing back, memories of other tiny gestures, however imperfect, that
showed that he did what he could. So tonight, rather than focusing on
what my father didn’t do, I want to focus on all the things he did do
and on his own personal challenges. I want to stop judging him.
I have started
reflecting on the fact that my father grew up in the South, in a very
poor family. He came of age during the Depression and his own father,
who struggled to feed his children, showed little affection towards his
family and raised my father and his siblings with an iron fist. Who
could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the
South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope, struggling to become a man in
a world that saw my father as subordinate? I was the first black artist
to be played on MTV and I remember how big a deal it was even then. And
that was in the 80s!
moved to Indiana and had a large family of his own, working long hours
in the steel mills, work that kills the lungs and humbles the spirit,
all to support his family. Is it any wonder that he found it difficult
to expose his feelings? Is it any mystery that he hardened his heart,
that he raised the emotional ramparts? And most of all, is it any
wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers, so that
they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and
I have begun
to see that even my father’s harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect
love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved
me. Because he wanted no man ever to look down at his offspring.
And now with
time, rather than bitterness, I feel blessing. In the place of anger, I
have found absolution. And in the place of revenge I have found
reconciliation. And my initial fury has slowly given way to
decade ago, I founded a charity called Heal the World. The title was
something I felt inside me. Little did I know, as Shmuley later pointed
out, that those two words form the cornerstone of Old Testament
prophecy. Do I really believe that we can heal this world that is
riddled with war and genocide, even today? And do I really think that
we can heal our children, the same children who can enter their schools
with guns and hatred and shoot down their classmates, like they did at
Columbine? Or children, who can beat a defenseless toddler to death,
like the tragic story of Jamie Bulger? Of course I do, or I wouldn’t be
But it all
begins with forgiveness, because to heal the world, we first have to
heal ourselves. And to heal the kids, we first have to heal the child
within, each and every one of us. As an adult, and as a parent, I
realize that I cannot be a whole human being, nor a parent capable of
unconditional love, until I put to rest the ghosts of my own childhood.
what I’m asking all of us to do tonight. Live up to the fifth of the
Ten Commandments. Honor your parents by not judging them. Give them the
benefit of the doubt.
That is why I
want to forgive my father and to stop judging him. I want to forgive my
father, because I want a father, and this is the only one that I’ve
got. I want the weight of my past lifted from my shoulders and I want
to be free to step into a new relationship with my father, for the rest
of my life, unhindered by the goblins of the past.
In a world
filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with
anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair,
we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we
must still dare to believe.
To all of you
tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your
disappointment. To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers
or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further. And to all of you
who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend you hand to
them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents
the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love
from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a
desolate and lonely world.
mentioned to me an ancient Biblical prophecy, which says that a new
world and a new time would come, when “the hearts of the parents would
be restored through the hearts of their children”. My friends, we are
that world, we are those children.
said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the
strong.” Tonight, be strong. Beyond being strong, rise to the greatest
challenge of all – to restore that broken covenant. We must all
overcome whatever crippling effects our childhoods may have had on our
lives and in the words of Jesse Jackson, forgive each other, redeem
each other and move on.
This call for
forgiveness may not result in Oprah moments the world over, with
thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at
least be a start, and we’ll all be so much happier as a result.
And so ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my remarks tonight with faith, joy and excitement.
From this day forward, may a new song be heard.
Let that new song be the sound of children laughing.
Let that new song be the sound of children playing.
Let that new song be the sound of children singing.
And let that new song be the sound of parents listening.
Together, let us create a symphony of hearts, marvelling at the miracle of our children and basking in the beauty of love.
Let us heal the world and blight its pain.
And may we all make beautiful music together.
God bless you, and I love you.
Michael Jackson: Why We Love the Brotha
Posted: February 29 2004 8:00PM
There has been much talk about Michael Jackson: who he is, his mindset, how he thinks, etc. But it’s time to have a serious discussion about why we love the brotha. The major reasons for that love are his depth of thought, his unflinching ability to be himself in the face of every nonsensical attempt to change him and his survivor mentality. And, dear reader, don’t dare attempt to dismiss the following points by claiming they are coming from "some crazed fan". Truth be told, I couldn’t care less how you feel about me. If you want to argue, argue over the points being made not the person making them.
Had anything remotely like this happened to me-although I doubt it because females don’t seem to have the burden than men do and had this been Janet Jackson instead of Michael Jackson, it wouldn’t even be an issue-I would say to hell with all of these lying losers and their dying children too. If you responded with silent outrage while reading that line, you better pray that Jackson is a much better person than I am. But that’s why we love the brotha.
This brotha is so deep that he would take on all of society’s insanely disgusting fears of what’s appropriate and inappropriate if that means he can positively affect a child’s life; give a child some time where they don’t have to see their parents crying over their beds in a hospital room; time when they don’t have to worry about how their parents will be able to pay their bills; time when they can see beautiful things and be amazed by how wonderful life is; time when they can be treated with the kind of love they deserve. If you wanted to know why he STILL would let children stay at his house even after the 1993 set-up, this could be one possible reason.
What someone should do is impress upon the brotha not to hesitate in calling people out on their bull*hit. It’s ok to challenge someone who is questioning his honesty, his words, and his actions. It’s ok if everyone doesn’t have a profound understanding of what he’s trying to accomplish so long as they respect his right to do so. It’s ok if people don’t feel "sorry for" him either because of their own hang-ups, or because they thought he was suppose to be psychic and see this coming, or because they simply don’t get it, or because they secretly feel guilty by not reaching out to him before.
This brotha is on a level that many people can’t even fathom. I’m not talking about economically, although he is. I’m not talking about socially, although he is as well. I’m speaking about the unbelievable level of love, respect, and understanding he has for humanity; in particular, our collective selves before we have our goodness ruined by corrupt adult society. That time is called childhood.
The charge by some is that he needs to "grow up". Mind you, this misplaced criticism is about someone who has had to be, essentially, a grown-ass man since the age of 6. He’s been grown since BEFORE he was grown. It is not he that needs to grow up. It is we who need to get out of that high school-like mentality where one has to "fit in" or else be relegated to the "geeks, nerds and losers" section of society.
It’s not even that he needs to change what he is in order to fit into some schizophrenic definition of what’s "appropriate" and what’s not, what’s "black" and what’s not, or what’s "popular" and what’s not. It is the coexistence of disparate AND antagonistic mores in society that makes his very existent so absolutely necessary.
It may not even be that he needs to be more aware of when people are trying to take advantage of him.
He may know when people are trying to use him. He just may be hoping somehow that their conscience would kick in and make it impossible for them to take advantage of him, or that they’ll use the opportunity to change their behavior.
I respect him because he has actually bought into all of the things we love to preach about, but never follow ourselves: "Be loving to one another", "be affectionate and caring for those who need you", "Honor your children because they are our future", "Respect the beauty
of childhood for it is fleeting", "Give of your best at all times", "If someone stays with you, give them your best as if giving them the very bed on which you sleep or the clothes off your back", "If someone comes under your roof, they are to be protected and respected at all costs", ETC. These are things we all love to espouse…in theory.
But when it comes to putting the money where the mouth is, society’s actions read more like "Take what you can get", "Look out for #1", "Do onto others before they can do onto you", "Your best isn’t good enough", "Show a child who’s boss", "Childhood is only something to be tolerated, not cherished", "If someone stays with you, make sure you check their bag before they leave because they’ve probably stolen something", "Don’t let people in your house because they’ll have your business all out in the street", ETC.
Is that behavior schizophrenic or is it "survival"? Regardless of the answer, one is not meant to only "survive" but to thrive as a part of a community.
It’s idiotic to think that this brotha should not be able to be who he is and change the lives of people just because we may not understand the level he’s on. Whether our collective mindset "gets it" or not, we should realize that he’s not owned by anyone. He is not to be beholden to anyone but God.
He’s not owned by a corporation. Symbolically, he’s not "Toby" (Jacko), he’s Kunta Kinte (Michael Jackson).
In trying to squash him, those very people are helping/forcing him to become the exact thing they were so afraid he’d become: a powerful, successful, wholly independent entity onto himself not controlled by any hierarchy, who follows the laws of the land but who isn’t afraid to call society out on it’s stupidity and hypocrisy, and who is unashamed of his past and who he is.
To be "bad" by this brotha’s definition, is not to take anyone’s mess; to be secure in oneself and one’s ideals. And it is those ideals that have helped shape him in my opinion. These same ideals are what all the rest of us have had thoroughly and soundly beat out of us as we’ve grown up in "normal" society.
He has managed somehow to sustain that level of basic goodness which should guarantee that his life is peaceful and filled with love, right? Wrong.
Our society says a grown man can’t possibly sleep in the same "bedroom" as a child without it being sexual. Let’s break that down. When I posed the question to a regular 42 year old man, who has gone on record insulting Jackson, whether it was possible that he, himself could simply sleep in the same bedroom with a child without wanting to sexually molest him/her, that person exclaimed with insulted outrage "Of course! I ain’t no damn child molester!" Without realizing it, he’d just said exactly what Jackson has said.
Jackson has said during the 60 Minutes interview that "if you’re going to be a child molester, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper" one should NOT be sleeping anywhere near a child. Jackson is neither a child molester nor Jack the Ripper. Neither is the 42 year old man to which I posed the question. They’re on the same side.
But of course, the "boogy-man" syndrome is pervasive in this society and in Mr. 42-year-old-Normal-Guy’s head. And someone like Jackson, even with all his idealistic and basic goodness, is forced into that boogy-man category by those who make themselves feel better by reveling in his tribulations.
Maybe if this brotha started to defend himself in an insulted and outraged manner, people would start to "get it". It is asinine to think that "we" (collective society) can sleep in the same room with a kid without it being sexual, but Jackson can’t; that he can’t possible feel that form of insulted outrage when "we" attack him for his so-called "inappropriate behavior"; that he can’t possibly have the same visceral reaction when the question is posed to him.
It is that unflinching ability to be himself that has helped to get him this far. So why, then, is it not ok for this brotha to live his life without running his decisions by "us" first? No one can satisfactorily answer that question.
This brotha has to go through hell and back just to get some form of respect; just to get some of society to ask the question whether or not he’s being made to struggle unjustly. He has to go to hell and back just to get people to question whether or not his way is the right way, and our way is the corrupt way.
He has to go to hell and back just to shake some sense into "us"; to wake "us" up from this ‘do it my way or you’re crazy’ type of selfishness inherent in "us" all. It is this feigned moral superiority in having a "normal" life that seems to keep tripping him up as he repeatedly attempts to pull some form of that normality into his existence.
So my advice to him as a member of "normal" society: Brotha you ain’t missing nothin’ here. I’m still trying to pull some form of your idealistic existence into my own. And so much the better I would be because of it.
AUDIO >>> Heal The Kids Lecture Transcript
Heal The Kids
It’s a plan to initiate and coordinate international action to help parents rededicate their lives to their children and provide the children with the love and attention they need and deserve.
Major studies show that children who experience no tactility, no tenderness or hugging in their formative years, bear emotional scars that will not heal later in life. However, parents nowadays have often been replaced by television, computers, and home video games.
Lacking fulfillment of the basic emotional needs, children are increasingly lashing out at a world which, to them, seems callous and cynical, all in an ever-more frantic search for attention and love. As we grow more and more distracted and distant from our children, they grow more and more desperate and destructive – and will be more likely to be distracted and neglectful parents to their own children in the future.
Childhood has become a means to an end, just a stage one passes through on one’s way to adulthood. This must be reversed. A happy childhood must be an end in and of itself and we must insure that each child is brought up in a loving and supportive environment – this should be one of the main goals toward which society directs its energies and achieving this goal is the primary work of Heal The Kids.
The aim of Heal The Kids is to encourage adults to reprioritize children, trusting that, by bringing our children from the periphery of our attention to the center of our daily consciousness, we can imbue them with the love and devotion which they so badly need and break the cycle of neglect.
The main goals of Heal The Kids are…
- To develop a campaign that will help parents and adults around the world make their children their most important priority and stop the cycle of neglect.
- To help at-risk children receive more consideration and support from all sectors of society.
- To bring together some of the world’s leading statesmen, thinkers and artists to help advocate for the most effective interventions and informational resources available so as to raise awareness among the general public of the problems and (potential) solutions.
Heal The Kids plans to act as an ambassador to raise awareness of initiatives for children. It does not intend to replicate initiatives in progress but will work in concert with organizations that have programs underway while also developing new initiatives that will promote the better welfare of children. With celebrity spotlights, Heal The Kids hopes to bring more attention to children’s initiatives that may include such programs as:
National Family Volunteer Day (Points of Light Foundation)
Foster Grandparent Program (Save the Children)
Universal Children’s Day (the United Nations)
International Children’s Book Day (International Board on Books for Young People)
World Children’s Day
The celebration of World Children’s Day will be dedicated to the joy of spending quality time with children. Events marking this occasion would call for all kids and adults to share in locally planned activities throughout the world that emphasize spending time with children.
In the Heal The Kids Book Club, Michael Jackson will endorse a new book of the month for parents and children to read together. Children would then be invited to share their impressions of these books on a web site created specifically for that purpose. Through this program, they can interact not only with their parents, but they can also share their experiences with other children from around the world.
Annual events will be developed, such as a Heal The Kids Book Club Day, which will be held at national theme parks and other venues for parents and children who faithfully participate in the book club.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that highlight celebrity parents (and grandparents) who will stress the value they place on spending time with their children.
Partnerships with key hotel chains and phone companies to provide free phone calls for parents to call their children at home while they are away on business.
Encourage publishers to provide books at a discount for families participating in the Heal The Kids Book Club.
Partnership with an internet service provider (ISP) to provide discounts, contingent on participation in the Heal The Kids Book Club and other activities to be found on the Heal The Kids web site.
To direct children’s advocacy efforts to one location, a website will be developed that will provide a "tool kit" with key messages offering suggestions on how to spend quality time with kids. The site will also include a FAQ section, discussion boards, Heal The Kids Book Club updates, and a calendar of events among other features. The website will also serve as a locus point for coordinating advocacy programs, providing links to other initiatives in progress.
AIDS Project L.A.
611 South Kingsley Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90005
American Cancer Society
Email form: http://www.cancer.org/asp/contactUs/cus_global.asp
922 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Camp Ronald McDonald
A program of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California
1954 Cotner Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90025
15757 N. 78th Street Suite #B
Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260
Fax: (480) 922-7061
Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
Website: Information not found
4828 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90043-1819
Phone: (323) 294-8320
875 Arwin St
Pasadena, CA 91103
http://www.wish.org/ National Office – America
www.worldwish.org International Office
www.make-a-wish.org.uk United Kingdom
3550 North Central Avenue, Suite 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85012-2127
(800) 722-WISH (9474)
Fax: (602) 279-0855
National Children’s Museum
955 L’Enfant Plaza North, SW Suite 5100
Washington DC, 20024
National Solidarity Fund
P.O. Box 34781
Washington, D.C., 20043
N.S.F. in TUNISIA
85 Avenue de la Liberté
1002 – Tunis
Phone (+216) 71 792 322
Operation Christmas Child
Rotary Club of Australia
1560 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201 USA
5757 Wilshire Blvd. Suite M100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 420-5100 or (800) 550-3560
The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
212 ½ NW 20th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
260 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
P.O. Box 10444
Fairfax, VA 22031-8044
Email form: http://www.uncf.org/contactus/index.asp
USA for Africa
Los Angeles, CA
Watts Summer Festival
944 W. 53rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
161 Furey Avenue
Tiverton, RI 02878
YMCA of the USA
101 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
June — Donated 100,000 DM to Sophia Childrens’ Hospital in Rotterdam.
July — Donated L. 821,477,296 to La Partita del Cuore (The Heart Match) in Rome. Donated 120,000 DM to children’s charities in Estonia and Latvia.
September — Donated 1 million pesetas to charity headed by the Queen of Spain. Dedicated children’s playground at orphanage in Bucharest, Romania.
November — Forty-seven tons of winter relief supplies airlifted to the children of Sarajevo in association with AmeriCares, including medical items, blankets, winter clothing, and shoes.
December — Relief supplies airlifted to children in Bosnia in association with Operation Christmas Child, consisting of 30,000 "shoebox gifts" of toys, school items, photographs, and letters collected by U.K. schoolchildren.
January — A new U.S. Children’s Relief Initiative announced in Los Angeles: "Heal L.A.", in collaboration with Cities In Schools, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the BEST Foundation, Watts Health Foundation, and the Partnership for a Drug Free America, will help solve the problems facing inner-city youth by providing drug-abuse and AIDS prevention education, mentoring, and immunization campaigns in the wake of the 1992 unrest.
Donated $1.25 million dollars plus proceeds from Michael Jackson’s half-time performance at Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena, CA (USA) to Heal L.A.
February — In association with Sega, launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and equipment to children’s hospitals, children’s homes, and children’s charities throughout the U.K.
April — Unannounced visit made by Michael Jackson to three Heal L.A. project sites to participate in discussions with recipients and providers of the immunization, mentoring, and drug-abuse prevention programs.
May — With the assistance of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s Atlanta Project Immunization/Children’s Health Initiative, arranged for the immunization of 17,000 children in 5 days in Atlanta, GA (USA); support from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, Gladys Knight, and TLC.
August — With Pepsi-Cola Thailand, donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s charity, the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.
In conjunction with Pepsi-Cola International, donated new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children in Moscow, Russia and the Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October — Donated $100,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.
December — With the Gorbachev Foundation, airlifted 60,000 doses of children’s vaccines to Tblisi, Georgia.
In association with Operation Christmas Child, gave to children in the former Yugoslavia over 100,000 "shoebox gifts" of toys, small gifts, and letters donated by children in the U.K.
January — In conjunction with Unihealth and the Los Angeles Immunization Coalition, provided vaccines to children made homeless by the Los Angeles earthquake; with Discovery Toys, donated hundreds of toys to the children in the immunization drive.
Provided $85,000 through Heal L.A. to earthquake relief efforts by non-profit organizations dedicated to aiding families with long-term recovery, including the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, Casa Rutilio Grande, Clinica Para Las Americas, Families in New Directions, Meeting Each Need With Dignity, Proyecto Esperanza, Pueblo Nuevo, and the Vaughn Street Family Center.
In association with General Electric, Lever Brothers, and Surf Wash, donated washers, dryers, and soap to 25 non-profit organizations to provide free laundry services to families affected by the quake.
Heal the World and Heal L.A. board member Edward James Olmos provided education about earthquake safety to quake victims in shelters.
With the Salvation Army, treated over 400 homeless children and parents to a day at Universal Studios.
Spring-Summer — Heal L.A. Immunization and Mentoring Initiatives supported by visits by Kriss Kross to the George C. Page Children’s Hospital Community Health Center and Raven-Symone and Bryton McClure to the Bancroft Middle School.
Summer — In conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Youth Services, the I Have A Dream Foundation, Best Buddies, Overcoming Obstacles, and California One to One, provides 2000 children with tickets to see Janet Jackson in concert, the " L.A. Laker Jam", and the Beach Boys.
August — In association with Toys ‘R Us and AmeriCares, distributed $20,000 worth of toys, food, and supplies to children’s hospital in Budapest, Hungary.
Fall — Heal L.A. funds implementation of the Los Angeles Team Mentoring Program in six Los Angeles Unified School District Middle Schools in the South Central Los Angeles and the Pico Union District, reaching over 1000 young people.
October — Launched the Community School/Safe Havens Initiative designed to provide Los Angeles communities with a safe environment in which students, families, and residents can pursue after-school academic and recreational activities such as instruction in computers, languages, mathematics, and sports.
February — Heal L.A. expanded curriculum offerings and program hours of the Community School/Safe Havens Initiative, which grew to include over 1200 families.
March — Paid for liver transplant for young Hungarian boy, Bela Farkas.
April — Sponsored 46 children from 17 nations to gather at Neverland for the World Congress of Children, a three-day seminar to discuss drug abuse, homelessness, increasing violence, AIDS, and child abuse.
June — Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassadors present the findings of the World Children’s Congress to the World Summit of Children during the United Nations’ 50th Anniversary celebration in San Francisco, CA, and meet with U.N. Secre tary Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and several U.N. ambassadors.
Summer — Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassador from Mexico accompanies Children’s Torch of Hope across the U.S., bringing the message of the World Children’s Congress to over 30 events sponsored by the Coalition for Children of the Ea rth and EC2000.
October — Brownstone and Tasha Scott perform at Horace Mann Middle School to launch new school year for Community School/Safe Havens Initiative.
Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassadors report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland.
December — Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassadors address the dedication of the "Guardians of the Future" monument in Mexico City, co-sponsored by EC2000, Terra Christa Communications, UNICEF, the office of the mayor of Mexico City, and Coalition for Children of the Earth.
In association with the International Rescue Committee, shipped two pallets of toys to children in war-scarred Bosnia and Hercegovina.
February — Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassador from Mexico presents model for creating a sustainable environment to the U.N. Habitat II Prep Committee.
April — Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassadors attend Children First: A Global Forum, in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, hosted by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, the Carter Center, and the Task Force for Child Surv ival, and co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the World Bank, and Heal the World, brings together 360 representatives from 100 countries to discuss strategies to improve the quality of life for children.
Heal the World/World Children’s Congress youth ambassadors attend the Spectrum of Light Youth Conference in Washington, D.C. to form partnerships to emphasize the need for a sustainable society based on a healthy environment.
Heal The Kids, the latest initiative of the Heal The World Foundation in cooperation with the L’Chaim Society, is launched. It’s a plan to initiate and coordinate international action to help parents rededicate their lives to their children and provide the children with the love and attention they need and deserve.
April 9, 1984: David Smithee, a 14-year-old boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis is invited to Michael’s home. It was David’s last wish to meet Michael. He dies 7 weeks later.
April 14, 1984: Michael equips a 19-bed-unit at Mount Senai New York Medical Center. This center is part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research.
July 5, 1984: During the Jackson’s press conference at Tavern On The Green, Michael announces that his part of the earnings from the Victory Tour will be donated to three charitable organizations: The United Negro College Fund, Camp Good Times, and the T.J. Martell-Foundation.
July 14, 1984: After the first concert of the Victory Tour, Michael meets 8 terminally ill children backstage.
December 13, 1984: Michael visits the Brotman Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated when he was burned very badly during the producing of a Pepsi commercial. He donates all the money he receives from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children.
January 28, 1985: Michael and 44 other artists meet to record "We Are The World", written by Michael and Lionel Ritchie. The proceeds of this record are donated to the starving people in Africa.
1986: Michael set up the "Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund". This $1.5 million fund is aimed towards students majoring in performance art and communications, with money given each year to students attending a UNCF member college or university.
February 28, 1986: After having had a heart-transplant, 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California gets a call from Michael Jackson. He had heard that she is a big fan of his. Michael invites her to his home as soon as she is feeling better. This visit takes place on March 8th. Donna stays for dinner and watches a movie together with Michael.
September 13, 1987: Michael supports a campaign against racism. He supports efforts of the NAACP, to fight prejudices against black artists.
October 1987: At the end of his Bad Tour, Michael donates some personal items to the UNESCO for a charitable auction. The proceeds will be for the education of children in developing countries.
February 1, 1988: The Song "Man In the Mirror" enters the charts. The proceeds from the sales of this record goes to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a camp for children who suffer from cancer.
March 1, 1988: At a press conference held by his sponsor Pepsi, Michael presents a $600,000 check to the United Negro College Fund.
April 1988: Free tickets are given away for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the Make A Wish Foundation.
May 22, 1988: Michael visits children who suffer from cancer in the Bambini-Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome. He signs autographs and gives away sweets and records to the little patients. He promises a check of 100,000 pounds to the hospital.
July 16, 1988: Before a concert at Wembley Stadium Michael meets the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana. He hands over a check of 150,000 pounds for the Prince’s Trust, and a check of 100,000 pounds for the children’s hospital at Great Ormond Street.
July 20, 1988: Michael visits terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At a unit for less critical patients he stays a little bit longer and tells a story.
August 29, 1988: At his 30th birthday Michael performs a concert in Leeds, England for the English charity-organization "Give For Life". The goal of this organization is the immunization of children. Michael presents a check for 65,000 pounds.
December 1988: Michael visits 12-year-old David Rothenburg. His father had 5 years earlier burned him very badly in an act of revenge against his former wife.
January 1989: The proceeds of one of Michael’s shows in Los Angeles are donated to Childhelp USA, the biggest charity-organization against child-abuse. In appreciation of the contributions of Michael, Childhelp of Southern California is founding the "Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse".
January 10, 1989: The Bad Tour comes to an end. Under-privileged children are donated tickets for each concert and Michael donates money to hospitals, orphanages and charity-organizations.
February 7, 1989: Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. Some weeks earlier a 25-year-old man had fired at the school’s playground. 5 children had been killed and 39 had been wounded.
March 5, 1989: Michael invites 200 deprived children of the St. Vincent Institute for handicapped children and of the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. After this event he invites them to his ranch to introduce his private zoo at his Neverland Ranch to them.
November 13, 1989: The organization "Wishes Granted" helps 4-year-old Darian Pagan, who suffers from leukemia to meet Michael. Michael invites the little boy to a performance of Canadian acrobats.
December 28, 1989: Young Ryan White, who suffers from hemophilia, spends his holidays on Michael’s ranch. Ryan had been infected with AIDS by contaminated blood transfusions in 1984. After he was excluded from his school in Kokomo, Ryan fought against the discrimination of AIDS victims.
January 6, 1990: Michael invites 82 abused and neglected children through Childhelp to his Neverland Ranch. There are games, a Barbeque and a movie show provided for them.
July 1990: 45 children from the Project Dream Street, Los Angeles, for children with life-threatening illness are invited to Neverland Valley.
August 18, 1990: Michael invites 130 children of the YMCA summer program of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to his Neverland Ranch.
May 6, 1991: Michael is invited to the Jane Goodall Charity event. Michael supports her, an advocate of behavioral research concerning chimpanzees in Gombe, Nigeria for more than 30 years.
July 26, 1991: Michael pays a visit to the Youth Sports & Art Foundation in Los Angeles. This Foundation supports families of gang members, and helps dealing with drug-abuse. Michael talks to the kids and presents them with a wide-screen TV set and a financial gift.
December 1991: Michael’s office MJJ Productions treats needy families in Los Angeles with more than 200 turkey dinners.
February 1992: Within 11 days Michael covers 30,000 miles in Africa, to visit hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches, and institutions for mentally handicapped children.
February 3, 1992: At a press conference at the New York Radio City Music Hall, Michael announces that he is planning a new world tour, to raise funds for his new "Heal The World" Foundation. This Foundation will support the fight against AIDS, Juvenile Diabetes and will support the Camp Ronald McDonald and the Make A Wish Foundation.
May 6, 1992: Michael defrays the funeral-expenses for Ramon Sanchez, who was killed during the Los Angeles riots.
June 23, 1992: At a press conference in London, Michael makes an announcement about his Heal The World Foundation.
June 26, 1992: Michael presents the Mayor of Munich, Mr. Kronawitter, with a 40,000 DM-check for the needy people of the city.
June 29, 1992: Michael visits the Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam and presents a check for 100,000 pounds.
July 1992: Michael donated L. 821,477,296 to La Partita del Cuore (The Heart Match) in Rome and donated 120,000 DM to children’s charities in Estonia and Latvia.
July 25, 1992: On the occasion of a concert in Dublin, Ireland, Michael announces that he will give 400,000 pounds of the tour earnings to various charities.
July 29, 1992: Michael visits the Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital in London. To the surprise the children, he brings Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Euro-Disney to the hospital.
July 31, 1992: On the Eve of his second concert at Wembley Stadium, Michael presents Prince Charles with a check of 200,000 pounds for the Prince’s Trust.
August 16, 1992: 6 year old Nicholas Killen, who lost his eyesight caused by a life aiding cancer surgery, meets Michael backstage in Leeds, England.
September 1992: Michael donated 1 million pesetas to charity headed by the Queen of Spain.
September 30, 1992: President Iliescu of Romania inaugurates a playground for 500 orphans which Michael has financed. Michael discusses his Heal The World Foundation.
October 1, 1992: Michael chooses a concert in Bucharest, Romania for worldwide television broadcast. Bucharest is a logical choice due to the numerous orphanages the country is known for.
November 24, 1992: At Kennedy Airport in New York, Michael supervises the loading of 43 tons of medication, blankets, and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo. The Heal The World Foundation collaborates with AmeriCares to bring resources totaling $2.1 million to Sarajevo. They will be allocated under the supervision of the United Nations.
December 10, 1992: During a press conference at the American Ambassy in Tokyo Michael is presented with a check for $100,000 for the Heal The World Foundation by Tour Sponsor Pepsi.
December 26, 1992: During a broadcast request for donations to the United Negro College Fund, Michael declares: "Black Colleges and Universities are breeding some of the leading personalities of our time. They are on top in business, justice, science and technologies, politics and religion. I am proud, that the Michael Jackson Scholarship Program enabled more than 200 young men and women to get a qualified education."
January 19, 1993: Michael is one of the stars to perform at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Before he sings "Gone Too Soon" he draws the attention to the plights of the victims of AIDS and mentions his friend Ryan White.
January 26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, Michael is presented with a $200,000 donation from the National Football League and the Sponsors of the Super Bowl. He gets another $500,000 from the BEST Foundation for his Heal The World Foundation. At this occasion the foundation of "Heal L.A." is officially announced.
February 1993: In association with Sega, launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and equipment to children’s hospitals, children’s homes, and children’s charities throughout the U.K.
March 1993: The foundation of an independent film company is announced. They will produce family-oriented movies. A part of the earnings will go to the Heal The World Foundation.
March 27, 1993: At a meeting at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Michael gives a 5-minute speech to 1200 teachers and politicians.
April 26, 1993: Within his "Heal LA" tour, Michael visits the Watta Health Foundation, and two schools in Los Angeles South Central.
May 5, 1993: Former President Jimmy Carter and Michael, who are chairmen of the "Heal Our Children/Heal The World" initiative, are in Atlanta to promote their "Atlanta Project Immunization Drive".
June 1993: Michael has announced that he will donate $1.25 million for children who have suffered from the riots in Los Angeles.
June 1993: 100 children from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club visit Neverland.
June 10, 1993: Michael promotes the new DARE-program. The purpose of the program is to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse.
June 18, 1993: Michael pays a visit to a hospital in Washington. He spends several hours with the young patients and plays chess with some of them.
August 1993: With Pepsi-Cola Thailand, donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s charity, the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.
August 1993: In conjunction with Pepsi-Cola International, donated new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children in Moscow, Russia and the Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October 1993: Donated $100,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.
October 22, 1993: Michael visits a hospital in Santiago.
October 28, 1993: Michael makes it possible for 5000 underprivileged children to visit the Reino Aventura Park, where the whale Keiko ("Free Willy") is living.
November 5, 1993: Michael is guest at a children’s party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City.
December 1993: With the Gorbachev Foundation, airlifted 60,000 doses of children’s vaccines to Tblisi, Georgia.
December 16, 1993: The Heal The World Foundation UK supports "Operation Christmas Child" delivering toys, sweets, gifts and food to children in former Yugoslavia.
1994: Michael donates $500,000 to Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS Foundation.
January 7, 1994: On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Michael gives a party for more than 100 underprivileged children at his Neverland Ranch.
February 22, 1994: "The Jackson Family Honors" is televised. The earnings of the show are given to their own newly formed charity, "Family Caring for Families".
August 6, 1994: Michael and his wife Lisa Marie are visiting two children’s hospitals in Budapest. They distribute toys to the ill children.
1995: Michael wants to free dolphins who have been locked up for years. He believes there should be legal guidelines about the way dolphins have to live in zoos and parks.
March 1995: Little Bela Farkas received a new liver. Michael and Lisa Marie met this 4-year-old boy during their trip to Hungary in 1994. Michael did everything to help Bela, whose only chance to live was getting a new liver. The Heal The World Foundation covered the surgery and the cost for caring.
June 21, 1996: Michael donated a four-times platinum disc of "HIStory" in aid of the Dunblane appeal at the Royal Oak Hotel, Sevenoaks in England.
July 18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael is laying down a wreath of flowers for youngsters who have been killed during the fights involving Apartheid.
September 1996: The first Sports Festival "Hope" was held for orphans and disadvantaged children. 3000 children and 600 volunteers took part in the Sports Festival and Michael Jackson was a special guest.
September 6, 1996: Michael visits the children’s unit of a hospital in Prague.
October 1996: Michael visited a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and offered 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance in Kaoshiung.
October 1, 1996: Michael donated the proceeds of his Tunisia concert to "The National Solidarity Fund", a charity dedicated to fighting poverty.
October 3, 1996: Michael visits a children’s hospital and brings small gifts for the patients during a HIStory tour visit in Amsterdam. A room in the hospital (for parents who want to be with their children) is named after Michael.
November 1, 1996: Michael donates most of the earnings from a HIStory concert in Bombay, India to the poor people of the country.
November 7, 1996: Before his first concert in Auckland, New Zealand, Michael fulfills the wish of little Emely Smith, who is suffering from cancer, who wants to meet Michael.
November 25, 1996: Michael visited the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, delivering toys, signing autographs, and visiting with children.
December 9, 1996: During a HIStory tour visit in Manila, Michael visits a children’s hospital. He announces that a part of his concert earnings will be donated to the renovation of the hospital.
January 25, 1997: Michael waved his personal fee for his Bombay appearance and donated $1.1 million to a local charity helping to educate children living in slums.
April 4, 1997: British magazine "OK!" is publishing exclusive photos of Michael’s son Prince. The magazine pays about 1 million pounds for the photos. Michael donates the money to charity.
June 18, 1997: Michael signed the "Children in Need" book auctioned by the charity UNESCO.
September 1998: Michael meets 5 year old Aza Woods, who suffers from cancer, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. Michael introduces Aza to the attraction "Star Trek: The Experience" and spends the rest of the afternoon with the little boy. Finally Michael invites Aza to spend some time with him at his Neverland Ranch.
November 16, 1998: Michael arrives in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a member of the American Delegation invited by the Minister of Defense. The delegation thanks the government of Zimbabwe for helping to keep the peace in this area.
September 4, 1999: Michael presented Nelson Mandela with a check for 1,000,000 South African rand for the "Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund."
January 22, 2000: During Christmas last year a violent storm ravaged the park of the Chateau de Versailles and destroyed 10,000 trees in the park. The estimated cost for rebuilding the park is around $20 million. Some celebrities are supporting the restoration of the park. French officials are reporting that Michael Jackson is one of them. He was one of the first people to donate money to this cause.
October 28, 2000:Michael painted a plate to be auctioned for the "Carousel of Hope Ball" benefiting childhood diabetes research.
March 6, 2001: Michael donated a black hat, a birthday phone-call and a jacket worn at the Monaco Music Awards in 2000 to the Movie Action for Children auction, an event being given by UNICEF with all proceeds will going to UNICEF’s efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa.
March 26, 2001: Michael handed out books to young people at a Newark, NJ theater. The event, which helped to launch the Michael Jackson International Book Club, part of his new Heal the Kids charity, aims to promote childhood reading and encourage parents to return to reading bedtime stories.
September 15, 2002: Michael donated 16 exclusively autographed items consisting of CD’s, videos and 2 cotton napkins to aid in the support of the victims of a severe flood in Germany. These items were auctioned off for charity and managed to raise 3935 Euro (US$ 3,814).
October 12, 2002: Michael Jackson invited more than 200 Team Vandenberg members, who recently returned from overseas deployments, and their families to his Neverland Ranch. This was to show his appreciation for the sacrifices the military in his community make.
November 19-29, 2002: Michael donated an autographed teddy bear dressed in his likeness to Siegfried & Roy’s celebrity teddy bear auction. This auction benefits Opportunity Village which is a non-profit organization based in Las Vegas (USA) that enhances the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Michael’s autographed teddy bear raised $5,000 for the charity.
November 21, 2002: Michael donated a jacket to the The Bambi Charity Event in Berlin which raised $16,000.
April 25, 2002: Michael Jackson performed at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Apollo Theater in Harlem helping to raise nearly $3 million dollars towards voter registration.
June 2003: The Wolf family, who experienced serious damages to their belongings during the flood in Saxony, Germany last August, was invited to Berlin by Michael Jackson when he was at the Bambi Awards. On that occasion Michael invited them to Neverland. In June, they spent three days at Neverland, meeting Michael and his children.
May 14, 1984: At a ceremony in the White House President Reagan presents Michael an award for special efforts; he is honored for his participation in a national ad campaign against drunk driving.
January 1989: The "Say Yes To A Youngsters Future" program honors Michael in recognition of his efforts to encourage children to natural sciences and award him with the "National Urban Coalition Artist/Humanitarian Of The Year Award".
March 1989: At the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, Michael receives the Black Radio Special Award for his humanitarian efforts.
September 22, 1989: The Capital Children’s Museum awards Michael with the Best Of Washington 1989 Humanitarian Award in recognition of his efforts to raise money for the museum, and for his never-ending support of children.
February 3, 1990: From Japan Michael receives a Role Model Award.
April 5, 1990: During a ceremony, where Michael is awarded as "Entertainer Of The Decade", Michael meets President George Bush, who honors him with the "Point Of Light" award. Michael receives this award for his philanthropic activities. President Bush explains Michael’s humanitarian commitments to the press.
September 14, 1990: The Council of the American Scouts honors Michael with the first "Good Scout Humanitarian Award". Michael receives this award for his humanitarian activities by supporting the Make A Wish Foundation, the Prince’s Trust, the United Negro College Fund and Childhelp USA.
October 23, 1990: Michael Jackson and Elton John will be the first recipients of the award in memory of Ryan White, which will be handed over in 1991.
May 1, 1992: President George Bush presents Michael with the "Point of Light" award for his continuing support of deprived children. During his stay, Michael visits little Raynal Pope, who had been injured very badly by dogs.
June 3, 1992: The organization "One To One", who is caring for better living conditions of young people, honors Michael with an award for his commitment to deprived youngsters.
July 1993: The American Friends of Hebrew University honors Michael with the Scopus Award 1993.
August 1993: The Jack The Rapper Awards are presented and Michael is honored with the "Our Children, Our Hope Of Tomorrow" award.
November 17, 1993: Michael rejects the Scopus Award. He was nominated for this award, which was planned to be given him on January 29th, 1994.
April 12, 1994: On occasion of the 2nd Children’s Choice Award ceremony at Cit Center in New York, Michael is presented with the "Caring For Kids" award. This award is to honor celebrities, who take time for young people. 100,000 children and young people from 8 to 18 years old gave Michael their vote of confidence. The Children’s Choice Awards are sponsored by Body Sculpt, a charity organization, that offers drug-prevention programs for young people.
November 2, 1995: Michael receives the award "Diamont of Africa".
March, 30, 1996: The Ark Trust-Foundation, who wants to draw the attention of the public eye on animal’s problems, presents the 10th Genesis Award. Michael is presented with the 1995 Doris Day Award. He gets this award for the "Earth Song" video, which draws attention to the plight of the animals.
May 1, 1999: At the Bollywood awards in New York, Michael is presented with an award for his humanitarian activities. The award is signed: "Though he comes from the young American tradition, Michael is the embodiment of an old indian soul. His actions are an expression of the philosophy of Weda, which asked to work for the people – not for one’s own interests."
April 1, 2004: At the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Michael was presented with a humanitarian award by the African Ambassadors’ Spouses Association in honor of his work fighting AIDS in Africa.
The Millennium-Issue of the "Guinness Book Of Records" names Michael as the Pop Star who supports the most charity organizations. The following projects are supported by Michael Jackson:
AIDS Project L.A.
American Cancer Society
Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
Brothman Burn Center
Camp Ronald McDonald
Children’s Institute International
Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
Congressional Black Caucus
Dreams Come True Charity
Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
Heal The World Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Make A Wish Foundation
Minority Aids Project
National Rainbow Coalition
Rotary Club of Australia
Society of Singers
The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
United Negro College Fund
United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
Volunteers of America
Watts Summer Festival
YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw
Michael hits the Top 10 with the single "Rock With You"
Michael wins 3 American Music Awards: Favorite Soul/R&B Album (Off The Wall), Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist, & Favorite Soul/R&B Single ("Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough").
Michael wins 2 Billboard Awards: Top Black Artist and Top Black Album
February 14, 1980
"Rock With You" is certified Gold.
February 27, 1980
Michael wins a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male ("Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough").
Michael wins American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album (Off The Wall).
October 16, 1982
Michael writes and produces a single for Diana Ross called "Muscles."
November 9, 1982
A storybook album for ‘E.T.: The Extraterrestrial’ is released. The album contains narration and a new song from Michael. Michael later receives a Grammy for this album.
Michael releases Thriller, which contains a record 7 Top 10 hits, including the #1 hits "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Thriller." The album spends 37 weeks at #1 and remains on the Billboard album chart for 122 weeks. It is eventually certified 26x Platinum in the United States.
January 31, 1983
Thriller is certified Platinum.
February 21, 1983
Thriller reaches #1 for the first of 37 weeks.
March 5, 1983
"Billie Jean" reaches #1 on the singles charts for the first of 7 weeks.
March 25, 1983
Michael performs the moonwalk for a live audience for the first time. It is on the taping of the television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever." The show airs on television on May 16, 1983.
March 31, 1983
Michael’s "Beat It" short film premieres on MTV.
April 4, 1983
"Billie Jean" is certified Gold.
May 9, 1983
"Beat It" is certified Gold.
May 16, 1983
The television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever," in which Michael performs the moonwalk for the first time, airs on television.
Michael hit the Top 40 with "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’."
December 2, 1983
The almost-14-minute-long "Thriller" short film is debuted on MTV.
"Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller" – a long form video – is released and becomes the best-selling music home video ever.
Michael receives 8 American Music Awards: Favorite Male Artist (Pop/Rock), Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B), Favorite Pop/Rock Single ("Billie Jean"), Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Thriller), Favorite Pop/Rock Video ("Beat It"), Favorite Soul/R&B Album (Thriller), Favorite Soul/R&B Video ("Beat It"), plus the Special Award of Merit.
February 27, 1984
MTV world premieres Michael’s Pepsi commercial.
Michael is nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and wins 8 of them: Record of the Year & Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male ("Beat It"); Album of the Year & Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male (Thriller); Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male & Best Rhythm & Blues Song (songwriter) ("Billie Jean"); Best Recording for Children (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial) & Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) (with Quincy Jones).
Jackson hit #1 with "Thriller."
July 6, 1984
For five months, beginning July 6, 1984, the Jacksons toured America and Canada with the Victory Tour.
Michael wins three MTV Video Music Awards: Best Overall Video, Viewer’s Choice Award, and Best Choreography for "Thriller."
October 30, 1984
Thriller is certified 20x Platinum
January 28, 1985
"We Are The World" is recorded in one night – the night of the American Music Awards. The song was written by Michael and Lionel Richie. Quincy Jones produced the single. The performers on the single include Michael, Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, and many others.
Michael wins a Grammy Award for Best Video, Long Form ("Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller").
June 24, 1985
Off The Wall is certified 5x Platinum.
Michael wins the Grammy Award for Song of the Year (songwriter) ("We Are The World" with Lionel Richie).
August 8, 1987
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a duet with Siedah Garret, is released in advance of the forthcoming album Bad. This single becomes the seventh #1 single of Michael’s solo career.
August 28, 1987
Michael releases Bad. It tops the charts for eight weeks and spawns seven hit singles.
September 12, 1987
Michael launches his Bad Tour on which he spends over a year visiting 15 countries.
September 28, 1987
"I Just Can’t Stop Loving You" is certified Gold and hits #1 for 2 weeks.
Michael hits #1 for 2 weeks with "Bad."
November 9, 1987
Bad is certified 3x Platinum
December 31, 1987
Bad is certified 4x Platinum
Michael releases his autobiography, Moonwalk.
Michael receives an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single ("Bad").
Michael wins 3 Billboard Music Awards.
March 21, 1988
Bad is certified 5x Platinum.
June 1, 1988
Bad is certified 6x Platinum and Off The Wall is certified 6x Platinum.
Michael is honored at the MTV Video Music Awards with the MTV Vanguard Award.
Michael is honored with the Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards.
January 10, 1989
The "Moonwalker" long-form video is released.
February 14, 1989
"Billie Jean," "Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough," "Rock With You," and "Beat It" are certified Platinum and "Off The Wall" and "She’s Out Of My Life" are certified Gold.
April 17, 1989
The "Moonwalker" long-form video is certified 8x Platinum.
December 4, 1989
The single "Thriller" is certified Platinum.
The album "Thriller" is certified 29x Platinum.
…because he’s so much more than a Pop Star.
Yes, he’s extraordinarily talented and that’s part of it.
More importantly, his sovereign virtue is compassion, and he puts other people ahead of himself to the point that he can’t even comprehend some of the cruelties that many of us inflict on ourselves and others each day.
When he gives, it’s from his heart. His work is more than just art, it’s a piece of his soul and those of us who receive it as such, can’t help but to love him. It’s a spiritual thang. Many who feel it can’t even explain it other than to say "there’s just something about him". I say, it’s more like a sixth sense.
Unfortunately, many people can’t feel it and may never understand it. Although I ‘ve been a fan of his music 4eva, I’m only beginning to understand him my self and the more I do, the more I grow spiritually.
He inspires me to ask and give more of myself .
He’s been able, by virtue of the way he grew up, to hold on to childlike qualities that most of us lose simply by exposure to and acceptance of the ways of our society and world that he rarely experienced. He had to learn to be an intensely committed and responsible working young man before he even realized what it was. So, if he wants to compensate for that, why not, as long as he’s not hurting anybody, and since he is not and he wouldn’t think of it, he can’t understand why people would think that he could. He also obviously began to mature spiritually, earlier than most of us, which makes him even more unique and draws us to him.
Without God, my children, my family and you, my fans, I could not have made it through. Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible.
You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you. Your ever-present love held me, dried my tears, and carried me through.
I will treasure your devotion and support forever. You are my inspiration.