Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Friday, February 26, 2010

Michael Jackson's Eight

That which the ear has heard, and the eye has seen, it's useless for the mouth to deny. (DRC)

1984 - Michael Jackson won eight Grammy awards.

For me, Michael Jackson was a dancer who could sing. I do believe I could watch that man dance all day and then be up early next day yearning for more. What is most memorable about Michael Jackson for you?

Mostly, though, I related to Michael through the eyes of my sons. We all rocked to “ABC”, grew misty with to “I’ll Be There” and grew teary-eyed at the fate of “Ben”.

Later, no longer with young sons to provide an excuse for listening to Michael, I developed my own attachment to songs like “Billie Jean”,“Man in the Mirror”, and "Will You Be There".

Michael Jackson, singer, dancer, and entertainer, earned the title “King of Pop”. He was the eighth of ten children born to a working-class family. His talent was evident from the time he was in kindergarten, and by age eight, he was the lead singer of the Jackson Five.

He later went solo, and his 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His videos, such as Billie Jean, and Beat It, transformed videos from promotional tools to art forms. He was an extraordinary dancer who created dance techniques such as the robot and the moonwalk.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, and has on 15 Grammy awards and 26 American Music Awards. He was the first artist to have 4 of the 20 best selling albums in one year.Besides being the best selling artist in history, Jackson was a philanthropist and humanitarian. For example, he founded the “Heal the World Foundation” to help children worldwide who were threatened by war, disease, and poverty. He drew attention to the effects of HIV/AIDS and raised millions of dollars for charities. For his song, "Heal the World", please click here

In 1984, he received a special award from the US President for supporting charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse. That was the same year that he made history by winning eight Grammys.

He died in June 2009, weeks before he was to perform at a series of concerts titled, “This is It.”


Kenya Taliaferro said...

Like many, I've been mesmerized by Michael's incredible God given talent since the 1st time I've seen him perform & heard him sing. I instantly fell in love with his artistry, but as I grew older, I fell in love with the wonderful humanitarian that he was. I also came to appreciate that this was a man who was able to fully recognize his gifts from God & tried his best to utilize his talent for the greater good & always gave thanks to God for his gifts. I believe that he was 1 of those human beings that always remained 100% pure of heart. A man who in so many ways was forced to become an adult before he was ready, but his heart remained blind. I also believe that is why he was so misunderstood & often so taken advantage of which led to his broken heart & tortured soul. I've loved him from the beginning & always will.......maybe 1 day, we will all be able to appreciate the his "purely human heart."

Yvonne McCalla Sobers said...

Hi Kenya,

Thanks much for your comments.

Like you, I highly value MJ's dedication to "healing the world". I also accept the pureness of his heart, no matter what the media wanted us to believe about him.

To me, his lost childhood left him remaining as a child in adult body, with all the innocence and spontaneity and making decisions that adult world can so easily interpret in a negative way.

I do hope that his tremendous talent and his tremendous contribution to humanitarian causes will mark his place in history.




When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it. (Proverb from Rwanda and Burundi)

Welcome to this space where we can talk about proverbs that we can relate to (or not), and proverbs that make sense to us (or not). Most of all we can discuss how proverbs make us think about life and living. We can also share experiences of proverbs that have provided us with lifelines or just the chance to reflect.

Some of the proverbs here may also be found in "Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs", published by Random House and authored by Askhari Johnson Hodari and me. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One of the unique features of our book is that we arranged the proverbs according to life cycle, in sections including, Birth, Childhood, Love, Marriage, and Intimacy, Challenge, and Death.

For more proverbs and for information on Lifelines: the Black Book of Proverbs, please visit us at