To be White, Gifted and Black: Managing Acceptable Representations of Blackness as the "King of Pop"

June 4, 2010

After the Dance: Conversations on Michael Jackson's Black America (Session 2 of 4):

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Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. After a year of media-sanctioned mourning through concert tributes, film specials, video marathons and an extravagance of merchandising, who will bear the questions of music industry exploitation, self-hate, sexuality, addiction and apparent madness that Michael’s life and death urge us to ask? Who will discuss the value of Michael’s Philanthropy an environmental consciousness? Michael’s story echoes the ongoing crises of experience and identity faced not only by Black America, but the Black Diaspora. These conversations demand space beyond a video tribute.

Day 1:
Friday, June 4

6 p.m. Opening Reception
7  p.m. Opening Plenary with featured guests Nelson George, Author, Filmmaker, Television producer, and Critic & Touré, Music journalist, Cultural critic
9 p.m. Closing reception: Jackson Rhythms provided by WildSeed Music NY

** Sugested $10 donation at the door.

Day 2:
Saturday, June 5

11 a.m. Can You Feel It? A Multi-Media Collage of the Decades-Long Jackson Family Musical Career

Panel Discussions

12 p.m. To be White, Gifted and Black: Managing Acceptable Representations of Blackness as the "King of Pop"
Moderator: Esther Armah, International journalist, Published author, Public speaker, Radio host, and Playwright.
Panelists:Arthur Jafa, Filmmaker, Cinematographer, Writer; Dream Hampton, Hip Hop journalist; dj lynnee denise, WildSeed Music NYC; and DJ Qool Marv

2 p.m. Keep it in the Closet: The Historic Speculation Around Michael Jackson’s Gender Bending Persona
Moderator: Steven Fullwood, Schomburg Center
Panelists: Mark Anthony Neal, Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture at Duke University, and Author; Asadullah Muhammad, Educator, Father, Poet, Writer; and DJ Reborn, Music Consultant and Teaching Artist; and DJ Selly

4 p.m. Black Ain’t Green: Honoring Michael’s Environmental Consciousness and Philanthropic Endeavors 
Moderator: Walker Sands, Majora Carter Group
Panelists: Andres Carter, Sustainable South Bronx; William Thomas, Green Jobs Leader, Trainer, Business Man; and Anisa Keith, Sustainable Business Committee, Co-founder

5 p.m. Closing: Jackson Rhythms


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M.Jackson panel "To Be White, Gifted & Black"

This was an awesome panel "To Be White, Gifted & Black". Very interesting & enlightening. Wish I could've been there to add my perspective. Haven't viewed the other panels discussions yet, will probably have more to say then. Clearly an iconinc & complicated man (Michael Jackson), worthy of deep discourse. I am particularly struck by the idea of genius coupled with pathology that one panelist mentioned. I think it says a lot about who MJ was and why he is still so much beloved and reviled, and still a relevant topic of conversation. WKB