On Thursday afternoon Michael Jackson, also known as the "King of Pop", died of a heart attack at the age of 50. Jackson spent nearly his entire life in the public eye; first as a member of the "Jackson 5" band with his brothers, and then as the world's most successful solo pop artist. His 1982 album, Thriller, is still the world's best selling album.
Michael Jackson's personal life has always been characterized by more than his share of turmoil. From his relationship with his abusive father, to his continued use of cosmetic surgery to virtually annihilate his African features, to his legal battles fraught with claims of child molestation; Jackson was often embroiled in heated controversy. However, he undeniably stands as one of the greatest influences of both music and popular culture.
Today The Udjat celebrates the life and accomplishments of Michael Jackson through his ground-breaking 1992 song Remember the Time. Jackson took great risk with the song's accompanying video which was set in Ancient Egypt. Directed by popular African American director John Singleton, the video utilizes its title in "double entendre" fashion. The use of an all-African American cast argues that we should all "remember the time" that Africans were the rulers of one of the world's most preeminent formative civilizations. Certainly this image must have been difficult for so many of the proponents of a non-African origin to Ancient Egypt! Perhaps with a few more popular depictions, we might be able to have a genuine public dialog concerning the ancient role of Africans in the ebbing tide of human civilization. Shem em Hetep (Go Forth in Peace)! Enjoy!