Spike Lee Honors Michael Jackson at Annual Summer Party in Brooklyn

Sources: The Wall Street Journal – By David Shapiro | All Things Michael

Director Spike Lee at his annual summer get-together in Brooklyn. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Director Spike Lee at his annual summer get-together in Brooklyn. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Spike Lee rarely cracked a smile as he walked around his annual party in Brooklyn signing autographs, fist-bumping fans and throwing T-shirts into the dancing-and-singing crowd.

Mr. Lee’s stone-faced hosting style appeared out of sync with the jubilant atmosphere at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, where thousands of revelers gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson‘s 56th birthday.

At the party, titled “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” Jackson’s iconic music boomed for blocks around. In the neighborhood, passersby danced while carrying groceries. Residents of the apartments overlooking the plaza nodded their heads to the beat as they surveyed the scene from their balconies.

Mr. Lee strode through the crowd wearing an orange velveteen fedora (provided by Party City, which outfitted hundreds in free fedoras) and Nike Air Force One sneakers emblazoned with images of Jackson from the “Thriller” era. The sneakers said “Thriller” on the back.

In the early afternoon, Lionel Powell, a 54-year-old man dressed as a tree, caught the attention of many as he danced through the crowd on 10-foot-tall stilts that looked like tree trunks. He crouched on his stilts to speak and to be photographed, and once, when he stood back up, he stretched his arms out, blocking the sun for a moment.

“I’m givin’ you a little shade,” Mr. Powell said with a laugh.

Gritty James shows off his Michael Jackson moves at Mr. Lee's party, which honored the late pop icon. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Gritty James shows off his Michael Jackson moves at Mr. Lee’s party, which honored the late pop icon. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Powell didn’t charge passersby for taking photos with him, but plenty of others at the event were interested in making money. People sold Michael Jackson T-shirts, holistic health and beauty products, jerk chicken and fruity beverages.

In the crowd, Mr. Lee may have been the only person without a smile. Police officers bobbed their heads as they patrolled. Maintenance workers sang as they picked up litter. Two emergency medical technicians attempted to learn Jackson’s moonwalk.

“We’re on duty,” said one of the medical technicians, “but when ‘Thriller’ comes on, you can’t just stand there.”

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Hrithik and Katrina To Dance Like Michael Jackson In Bang Bang Video

Sources: Talking Moviez | All Things Michael

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Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif will dance like Michael Jackson in the new video song of Bang Bang which is being currently shot in Mumbai’s Film City. The song has been choreographed by Bosco – Caesar while the music has been given by Vishal Shekhar.

“I won’t call it a tribute or a copy. But it definitely has the trademark Michael Jackson moves,” says director Siddharth Anand in an interview to Mumbai Mirror.

“Once the song was ready, we played it to Hrithik and he quipped, ‘Hey, this is typical MJ!’ That’s exactly the kind of reaction I was looking for. It’s a first for him and Katrina too,” says Siddharth excitedly.

He has however clearly said that the song would not have the trade mark Michael Jackson moon walk step or any other moves however Hrithik and Katrina are sure to give a tribute while dancing to the Bosco Caesar choreography.


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Michael Jackson Inducted Into The R&B Hall of Fame

Source: JW Jackson | All Things Michael


Mr. Joseph Jackson attended the R&B Hall of Fame and thanked Artist Nicolosi for the dedicated beautiful artwork done in honor of his son Michael.


“It was very moving to see and feel all the outpouring of love the city had for my son. I was deeply moved by the love and appreciation they showed me and I thank you all for a wonderful event.  To Artist Nicolosi, thank you for the wonderful artwork done in honor of my son” 

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Course: Michael Jackson And The Black Performance Archive – Duke University, Fall 2014

MJ Duke University Course


Michael Jackson & The Black Performance Archive

Duke University | Fall Semester 2014

Wednesday @ 6:15pm – 8:45pm | White Lecture Hall (107)

Duke East Campus


Mark Anthony Neal, Ph.D. | man9@duke.edu | 919.684.3987

Twitter: @NewBlackMan

Course Description

A central premise of ‘Michael Jackson and the Black Performance Archive’ is the question, “Where did Michael Jackson come from?”  While there are facts—he was born on August 29, 1958 in a Rust Belt city named Gary, Indiana—what the course aims to answer are the broader questions of Jackson’s cultural, social, political and even philosophical origins.

The course posits the Black Performance tradition as a living and breathing archive that helped produce Jackson’s singular creative genius within the realms of music, movement and politics, including the influence of Black vernacular practices like signifying and sampling, the network of Black social spaces known as the Chitlin’ Circuit, the impact of Black migration patterns to urban spaces in the Midwest (like Gary, Chicago and Detroit—all critical to Jackson’s artistic development) and Black performance traditions including Blackface minstrelsy.

As such the course thinks of Jackson’s relationship to the archive in three specific ways:

1) The literal archive of Michael Jackson’s recordings and performances

2) Michael Jackson’s relationship to the archives of African American Performance and American Ephemera

3) Michael Jackson as Archive—exploring Jackson as Intellectual Property

In addition the course will examine the social constructions of Blackness and gender (Black masculinity) through the prism of Michael Jackson’s performance, highlighting his role as a trickster figure and shape-shifter within the context of African-American vernacular practices.


Blues People: Negro Music in America | Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka)

Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America’s First Black StarCamille F. Forbes

The One: The Life and Music of James Brown | RJ Smith

Moonwalk | Michael Jackson

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson  | Joseph Vogel

Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire | Zack O’Malley Greenburg

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Department of African American Studies at Duke University – Facebook

Professor Mark Anthony Neal

Sources: New Blackman Blogspot – By Mark Anthony Neal| DAAS – Duke University | All Things Michael

Spike Lee Hosts a Party for King of Pop in Brooklyn

Sources: New York Philharmonic – By Sandra Lopez – Monsalve | All Things Michael


On the streets of Salvador, Bahia, in Brazil, hundreds of Olodum drummers play with Michael Jackson in his 1996 music video “They Don’t Care About Us.” Directed by Spike Lee, the video features late Jackson dancing on the streets, and in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.

Lee also directed a posthumous music video for Jackson’s “This Is It,” and directed the 2012 documentary “Bad 25” about the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s 1987 album.

This weekend, the Brooklynite filmmaker is celebrating Michael Jackson’s birthday by throwing a free outdoor dance party known as “Brooklyn Loves MJ.” The party will kick off at noon on Sunday at the Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza.


In anticipation of his birthday, Michael Jackson-inspired street art appears in SoHo. (Kathleen Horan)

Lee organized the event for the first time in 2009 at Prospect Park, where thousands of fans gathered to celebrate the artist who had passed away just over two months before.

Aisha Smith, founder of Legacy of Love — one of the biggest Michael Jackson fan clubs in New York City — still remembers that party.

“I was touched by all of the people that would come together for one day just to be in the park and stand around and listen to Michael Jackson’s music,” she said.

The event was replicated the following year, but it was canceled in 2011 due to Hurricane Irene. This year the party is back with DJ Spinna playing Jackson’s songs.

Among those attending the party will be Moses Harper, a Michael Jackson tribute artist.


Moses Harper at the Apollo Theater.

Harper has been dancing like Michael Jackson all over the country, as a lead choreographer at Thrill the World NYC  — the annual worldwide simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

“I’ve met so many artists who’ve been inspired by Michael, just because his approach to artistry is very profound. He put his soul into what he was doing,” she said.

“Brooklyn Loves MJ” will run through 6 p.m. At any time, Thrill the World NYC members will break out into a quick flash mob to dance.


Read more at NY Philharmonic


Source: Brooklyn Reader | MJ-Upbeat | All Things Michael


This Sunday’s, August 24, from 12:00pm – 6:00pm, head on down to Restoration’s outdoor Plaza where Soul Summit will host “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” a Happy Birthday celebration for Michael Jackson, featuring music by DJ Spinna.

Over the past nine years, the Soul Summit Music Festival has become one of the most unifying and liveliest house parties in the city. For the third straight year, Restoration is happy to partner with Soul Summit for its outdoor dance parties.

From its longtime venue in Fort Greene Park on Sunday afternoons during the summer, the festival has come to Bed-Stuy as a pre-Restoration Rocks Concert party, a part of Bed-Stuy Alive!, presented by Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

The Festival is always free and open to the public. The Festival showcases artist of various backgrounds, Djs, bands, dance companies, fashion designers, filmmakers and photographers just to name a few.The festival provides the backdrop for access to music, networking and other activities.


Read more at Brooklyn Reader


The One Video Music Award Worth Caring About

Sources: Slate – By Aisha Harris| All Things Michael


It’s probably safe to say that no one cares about the awards that are actually handed out at the VMAsas much as Kanye West does—and certainly few of us outside the pop music industry care at all. Like the BET Awards, the VMAs are an excuse to corral the biggest pop stars of the moment inside one room and watch them provide career-defining performances and crazy, unexpected moments. The awards themselves are an afterthought. Do you remember who won the purported biggest award of the night, Video of the Year, 20 years ago? Do you care? (Aerosmith, for “Cryin’,” if you’re curious.)

But on Sunday, Beyoncé will join an exclusive club that includes David Byrne, Madonna, and Guns N’ Roses when she’s awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award—the one VMA worth caring about. Sure, it’s not an EGOT, but it is kind of a big deal, and something that the entertainer should genuinely be proud of. In a ceremony full of forgettablehighly dubious awards, the Video Vanguard Award (sometimes referred to as the Lifetime Achievement Award) is the one VMA honor that MTV usually gets right—and that feels, even years later, at least a little bit momentous.

The award is meant to celebrate “forerunners in the music video sphere,” and MTV is legitimately the definitive arbiter on such matters. And their track record with the Vanguard has reinforced their authority: The first recipients of the award, in 1984, were the Beatles and Richard Lester, for the trailblazing A Hard Day’s Night, and David Bowie, for his groundbreaking films from the late ’60s and ’70s. In the years that followed, a range of pop culture icons have received the award, among them Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński, Janet Jackson, Peter Gabriel, and the Beastie Boys. (It helps that MTV is selective about handing out the honor: Five Vanguard-less years went by between 2006 and 2011.)

The Video Vanguard Award stands out among other career-based awards—like, say, the Academy Honorary Award—because it honors its recipients long before the end of their lives, while their work is still vital. Madonna and Michael Jackson won in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and while they had already become genuine innovators in the genre, some of their best and most iconic work was yet to come. The same can likely be said of Beyoncé: Even with 15 years of solid stardom behind her, she’s as culturally relevant as ever and shows no signs of slowing down.

Does MTV present the award just so otherwise-hard-to-get superstars will show up and perform? That’s probably a factor—last year’s ’N Sync reunion, for instance, might have hinged on MTV deciding to give Timberlake the honor. But that doesn’t really matter. MTV has still been judicious with their choices. And who doesn’t want to see yet another iconic VMA performance from Beyoncé? I’m sure Kanye West is interested. So am I.

Read more at Slate



Michael Jackson Dance Workshop

Sources: Culture Shock Dance Center | All Things Michael

10339343_10152305151523848_5611427738678812119_oCelebrate The King Of Pop’s Birthday with DEV as Michael Jackson. Learn MJ’s iconic moves, kicks, spins footwork and of course The Moonwalk!

A dance class like no other, Dev will inspire attendees to push their own boundaries, learn about working with energy in the body and experience true passion for dance, just as Michael did.

About the Instructor


Devra Gregory has been a professional Michael Jackson celebrity impersonator for over 15 years. www.DEVasMJ.com

Dev’s first career as a dancer took her to Aruba performing for a Las Vegas based female impersonator show as a backup dancer. She learned the art of impersonating Michael, and now works extensively for private and corporate events. Her one woman show “Woman in the Mirror, A Dancer’s Journey” won a Bravo Award for best solo performance in 2012.

Culture Shock Dance Center