I think the important thing to understand first and foremost about Michael Jackson is that he was the international emblem of the African American blues spiritual impulse that goes back through slavery - Jim Crow, Jane Crow, up to the present moment, through a Louis Armstrong, through a Ma Rainey, through a Bessie Smith, all the way to John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone.

I think the important thing to understand first and foremost about Michael Jackson is that he was the international emblem of the African American blues spiritual impulse that goes back through slavery - Jim Crow, Jane Crow, up to the present moment, through a Louis Armstrong, through a Ma Rainey, through a Bessie Smith, all the way to John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone.