Michael Jackson: The Original Post Racial Soul Brother


Dr. Ricky Vincent, City College of San Francisco

Michael Jackson emerged in the 1970s, when black popular culture was straddling the contradictory impulses toward the celebration of an essentialized black identity and the desires of many for non-threatening - non-racial - popular acceptance. As Dr. Ricky Vincent argues, Mr. Jackson was to become the world’s greatest interpreter of black styles, from soul to disco to pop and even hip hop, a great unifier, utilizing the talents of popular stars from outside of the black music world such as Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen and Vincent Price on Jackson’s landmark “Thriller” album.

Michael Jackson emerged in the 1970s, when black popular culture was straddling the contradictory impulses toward the celebration of an essentialized black identity and the desires of many for non-threatening - non-racial - popular acceptance. As Dr. Ricky Vincent argues, Mr. Jackson was to become the world’s greatest interpreter of black styles, from soul to disco to pop and even hip hop, a great unifier, utilizing the talents of popular stars from outside of the black music world such as Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen and Vincent Price on Jackson’s landmark “Thriller” album.

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