Tonight everyone who ever wrote a Michael Jackson article has been in front of a microphone. Several of them have given their dime store analysis of jackson, but one thing that struck me wrong was their portrayal of Joe Jackson. They have said that Joe would take the kids on tour for weeks, and he also used to beat the children. Joe has been painted as a villian, but what he really was a visionary. He saw that his children had real talent and he saw that Michael had the potential to be a supestar, and he made it happen. Joe Jackson was a product of his era. Most black children who grew up in the 60s and 70s were spanked, whipped or beaten by their parents. It was not child abuse. They truly believed spare the rod spoil the child. This is how they had been raised and this is how they raised their children. They did what they knew to do and now that we know better we do better, but let’s not crucify Joe Jackson. As we celebrate the life of Michael jackson let us not vilify Joe Jackson without his guidance we would not have known Michael Jackson.
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I grew up with the Jackson 5. They were all so cute my friends and I would sit around dreaming about which Jackson we would marry. I bought Right On magazine so I could keep up with what the brothers were doing. So today when I heard that Michael Jackson had died I felt like it was a death in the family. It is so hard to believe. Over the years Jackson was plagued with legal problems, but that is not what I will remember about him. I will remember seeing them on the Ed Sullivan show when it was still rare to see somebody black on television. I will remember being amazed when I first saw him do the moonwalk. I will remember the Motown 25 special in 1983 where Michael gave a performance that is still talked about today. I am sad tonight, and I will miss the Michael Jackson I grew up with. Rest in Peace Michael.