Do you remember the time?
1985: Touted around a Michael Jackson Thriller doll, along with Punky Brewster, and a Cabbage Patch doll. It’s somewhere naked in my house. I was fascinated by the joints that made the knees bend. Don’t ask, I was only 3.
I was also frightened by the Thriller video, especially when Michael’s eyes turned into cat eyes, because he wasn’t my Michael Jackson anymore.
1987: The “Bad” video premiered. I would look around the subway hoping people would break out into a dance fight. Along with Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” Jody Watley’s “Looking For A New Love,” and records about the alphabet, I spun this record on my Fischer-Price record player.
1988: Watched Michael Jackson the superhero in the “Moonwalker” movie. I loved the kids’ version of the “Bad” video. I also thought Annie was the coolest kid because she got to hang with MJ.
1991: Bought “Dangerous” album off Jamaica Ave. I asked the seller if he would be on the same block if the tape didn’t work. I was touched by the little girl on “Heal The World.” She was around my age and it made me think of the world we live in.
1992: Era of the Michael Jackson video premieres on Fox. “Remember The Time” had everyone learning the choreography and screaming “Til dawn, til three, what about us girl?”
“Black Or White” premiered after the Simpsons in a clip that was almost as long as the show. I thought Michael and Naomi Campbell were really in love with “Keep It In The Closet.”
“Man In The Mirror” tour in Bucharest: I used to think that Michael Jackson caused fainting, as people dropped like flies during this tour.
I couldn’t think of one person who didn’t like Michael Jackson. He was the ultimate pop star.
Jacksons American Dream Movie: Crush on Jason Weaver. This is still a must-see. The Twitter feeds go wild when it airs on VH1.
1993: Free Willy: “Will You Be There.” Would fast forward the tape just to get to the video.
1995: Janet joins Michael for “Scream.” The iconic dance had me sliding across the floor trying to perfect their moves. It’s still my song when I need to be reminded of my own strength.
1996: Discovered Jackson 5 records during my Motown phase. Couldn’t believe that Michael could deliver the raw emotion of “Who’s Loving You” as a 9 year old.
2001: Jacksons 25th Anniversary. So wanted to be Britney in the “You Make Me Feel” performance.
2009: Best Buy. The store was stirring with rumors that Michael Jackson had died. A teenager picked up a stack of MJ albums, and his music blasted from car stereos all night.
Thousands line up to pay tribute to Michael Jackson at the Apollo Theater.
2010: Children on the subway sing “Man In the Mirror,” and say how he is their hero. A young Harlem kid wears a red leather jacket inspired by MJ.
There is no one more iconic than Michael Jackson. He shaped my childhood and reminded me of humanity as an adult.
The legacy continues.