June 30, 2010

Joanelle Romero remembers Michael Jackson

On the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, actress/activist Joanelle Romero writes about growing up with him:

My Friend Michael Jackson--In Loving MemoryMy heart is so broken; you see Michael was a friend and he believed in me. I've known Michael since I was 10 years old, we went to school together at Gardner Street school off of Sunset Blvd, we were in the 6th grade together. I was always invited to go to his house to play, he would swing me in this big tree swing and we would speak of our dreams. Michael asked me to go steady on the steps of Gardener Street school. Two weeks before school ended my mother sent me to live with my dad in NM. I never got to say goodbye to Michael.And their collaboration:In 1991, I launched my production company, it was 2 weeks old when I received a call from Michael's casting office, asking if I had any American Indian dancers b/c everyone he had been interviewing wasn't right. I told them "I have the best dancers in town" I really had no one, however I went to many Pow wows and gathered 30 dancers, one of them being my precious daughter Sage. She was 5 then. Michael's casting office had no idea that Michael and I knew each other. To make a long story short. Director John Landis, cast 5 dancers, my daughter--who was the jingle dress dancer, and four other dancers from the native community here in Los Angeles that I brought in that day.

Comment:  At the 3:00 minute you can see Jackson and some powwow dancers, including Romero's daughter Sage, surrounded by armed warriors on horseback. The scene lasts about 25 seconds.

The theme of the Black or White video is Jackson dancing with people from around the world. Alas, they're mostly dressed in stereotypical outfits. It's like MJ's version of It's a Small World.

The message would've come across just as well if the backgrounds were "ethnic" but the costumes weren't. I would've suggested that to Jackson if I'd been there.

Also, it's ironic to hear the guy who bleached his skin and sculpted his nose singing "It don't matter if you're black or white." Maybe it matters a little, eh?

Anyway, Jackson's Off the Wall and Thriller are two great albums. My favorite Jackson songs are Wanna Be Startin' Something and Torture (by the Jacksons). Too bad he isn't around to make more songs like these.

For more on Joanelle Romero, see Pix of NIGA 2010 and Red Nation's Benefit for Reservations.

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