i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Michael Jackson Found Not Guilty: Now What?

Michael Jackson was found not guilty of all ten charges of child molestation in a California courthouse this afternoon. I was glued to my television set this afternoon, watching the news coverage, switiching from channel to channel, observing the different ways media report the same news. I finally settled on CNN, a station less compromised by advertising dollars & corporate sponsors than local news stations.

A large crowd of onlookers & supporters surrounded the courthouse in an eerily quiet calm mood. Over 32 countries & 2000 journalists were represented. Michael Jackson is an international superstar. As such, his case warranted global attention. The jury, which featured NO Black people, heard testimony over a 14 week period. After a little over seven hours of deliberation, the verdict was announced.

Frankly, I was greatly relieved of the verdict, though I believe Michael's behavior is worthy of immediate mental health support. Jackson publicly admitted there was nothing wrong with an adult sleeping in the same bed of a child. Rev. Al Sharpton was interviewed on CNN minutes after the verdict about Jackson's "inappropriate" remarks. Sharpton reiterated Jackson was charged with child molestation, not having a pajama party.

Perhaps Michael's naivete & sheltered upbringing has clouded his judgment. He has endured emotional & psychological trauma, fueled by the abuse of his father as an adolescent. Jackson has spoken openly about his painful childhood. He became a global superstar at an age when most kids were learning how to ride a bike or shoot a basketball. Apparently, all that glitters ain't gold.

I was happy to see most of his family members present, particularly his father. His mother, in fact, was in court every single day. Noticeably abesent today were Jackie & Marlon. Nonetheless, the Jacksons came together as a family, hopefully dispelling prevailing notions of internal dysfunction. Jackson, like most powerful & successful Black men, has been demonized by the supremacist media. Maybe he has second thoughts on whether or not "it don't matter if you're black or white."

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