Black History Month: Michael Jackson spotlight

Black History Month: Michael Jackson spotlight

Last month, the U.S. celebrated the black History month, and we serenated the great strides of black people in science and technology, entertainment, and other sectors. On a global level, organizations like The American Chamber of Commerce Ghana commemorated the event through its 2022 Black History Month Celebration, which occurred on February 24, 2022, with its theme centering on ‘The Health and Wellness of Accepting the Remnants of a Haunted Past’.

703 W.F., a D.C. communication company conducted a poll to find out which black artiste has had a significant global impact in the music world. Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, James Brown, and Michael Jackson were hot favorites and at the end, the king of Pop, Michael Jackson held sway.

On June 25, 2009, I returned home from school, and I heard all the mumblings that the artist famously known as the ‘King of Pop’ had passed away. I was indeed truly devastated because Michael Jackson gave me a lot of memories musically as a child.

From ‘Black & White’ to ‘Liberian Girl’, and ‘Billie Jean’, there was no song from his discography that didn’t make me get on my feet and try to break dance. 13 years later, Michael Jackson still leaves on till this very day because of the monumental impact his music was able to have on the world.

Jackson’s songs not only showed the talent of a superstar from Gary, Indiana, but also the diversity of black people across all genres of music. Apart from his music, Jackson was an avid dancer that was famous for his “moonwalk” dance move. Here are the top five Michael Jackson song’s that shaped my childhood.

  1. Bad

This song was off Jackson’s seventh album, ‘Bad’, which was released in 1987. I could personally relate to this song because it represents a man who stands up and protects himself from bullies, constantly taunting him. I also enjoy the hook “because I’m bad, I’m bad” because it sends a warning to his bullies that he is not the one to torment.


  1. Thriller

This is probably Jackson’s most iconic song. It was released in 1982 off his ‘Thriller’ album. The music video took on a horror themed setting. The song had a long-lasting impact, and it is responsible for the famous zombie dance in popular culture.


  1. Black and White

Released on November 11, 1991, ‘Black and White’ was the first single on Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album. The song is mainly special because of the dance and hard work elements to the song. The electric guitar also adds flavor and rhythm to a song that embraces people from all walks of life regardless of race and nationality.


  1. You rock my world

This song stands out to me because of the disco and R&B vibe the song gives off to its listeners. I like the video because it shows how man would go above and beyond to get the attention of a beautiful woman he admires.


  1. They don’t really care about us

This may come as a shock to many people, but this is hands down the best Michael Jackson song of all time. Jackson calls out the systematic racism, the injustice, and the ongoing police brutality from the dominant society. The song is still relatable to date because a lot of the issues highlighted in the song still carry on today, despite all the efforts made during the civil rights era.


Despite the controversy surrounding his untimely and tragic demise, what is for certain is that Michael Jackson remains and will remain a symbolic icon on a worldwide scale that embodies the true foundations of black music globally. As one of the respondents of the poll said, Michael Jackson had the most impact because his music and style of dancing is still trendy today. The reality is that he touched key issues in our world today, the travails of bullying, the need for love and more humanness, most relevant in today’s world of violence and war, as well as the racism and injustice meted out on the black race.

>>>the writer is a freelance writer and media expert based in Washington, D.C., U.S.A

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