“I'm a Black American. I'm proud of my race. I'm proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride and dignity” – King of Pop (YouTube 2014).
The late Michael Joseph Jackson was a 20th-century African-American singer and songwriter who transformed the face of pop music and popular culture throughout his lifetime (Michael Joseph Jackson ). Debuted in the professional music world in 1968 at the age of 10 as a member of The Jackson 5, Jackson’s rise to fame had been largely influenced by his invaluable contributions to the music, dance and fashion industries (Michael Joseph Jackson). Hailed as the ‘King of Pop’, his solo album “Thriller” remains “the best-selling album of all time”, with global sales of “over 51 million copies to date since 1982” (Guinness World Records ). Michael Jackson’s one-of-a-kind songs have also earned him over 700 awards, including 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (Michael Jackson; Grammy). However, his music recognition goes beyond what his cupboard-full of awards could ever represent. In this paper, I propose that Michael Jackson’s songs have touched and changed many lives through his constant fight for racial fairness. In particular, I argue that Michael Jackson used his music career as an outlet to break down racial barriers in the American music industry, to express his disappointment towards racial discrimination, to demonstrate his support for racial equality, to advocate that the color of our skin does not differ us from one another, as well as to show and guide others that change has to begin within oneself before impacting the world . Although certain parties would point out that Jackson used derogatory r...
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... Popular Music Studies 23, no. 1 (2011): 19-39. Accessed April 28, 2014. Academic Search Complete.
Rossiter, Brian. ““They Don't Care About Us”: Michael Jackson's Black Nationalism.” Popular Music & Society 35, no. 2 (2012): 203-222. Accessed April 28, 2014. Academic Search Complete.
“Past Winner Search.” Grammy.com. Accessed April 27, 2014. http://www.grammy.com/nominees/search?artist=%22Michael+Jackson%22&field_nominee_work_value=&year=All&genre=All.
"The Jackson 5 Biography." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum. Accessed May 4, 2014. http://rockhall.com/inductees/the-jackson-five/bio/.
Warwick, Jacqueline. ““You Can’t Win, Child, You Can’t Get Out of the Game”: Michael Jackson’s Transition from Child Star to Superstar.” Popular Music and Society, 35:2 (May 2012): 241-258. Accessed April 27, 2014. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2011.618052.
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