Black Or White: A Jacksonian Dream

Sources: National Review – By Armond White | Edited By – All Things Michael


Kevin Costner’s Black or White is sentimental in a good way. After all, it works in the spirit of Michael Jackson’s 1991 single “Black or White,” the most uncompromised of all uplifting pop songs. Jackson declared “I’m not gonna spend my life being a color!” And when he sang “I ain’t scared of your brother / I ain’t scared of no sheets,” he opposed the antinomies of either ethnic solidarity (Afrocentric “blackness”) or ethnic hostility (Ku Klux Klan–style white supremacy).

Costner applies Jackson’s pop principles to playing the role of Elliot Anderson, a wealthy white Los Angeles lawyer. Elliot’s recent bereavement leaves him as guardian of his biracial granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell), which means he already lives America’s blended-nation experience, not the fatuous “post-racial” notion but a reality that confirms Jackson’s dream of unity as memorably shown in the iconographic sequence of his extraordinary “Black or White” music video — still the finest achievement of that genre — that morphed all mankind’s ethnic and sexual physical characteristics……

To read the full article, click here 


Armond White, a film critic, writes about movies for National Review Onlineand received the American Book Award’s Anti-Censorship prize. He is the author of The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and the forthcoming What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about the Movies.

Mr White also authored the “KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles” See his video presentation of the book here.


2 thoughts on “Black Or White: A Jacksonian Dream

  1. IT TAKES BRAVERY LIKE JACKSON’S for Costner and Binder to go up against the strange phenomena….

    How good to hear an acknowledgement of Michael’s bravery!! A rare gift. I loved White’s book Keep Moving when I read it several years ago. It was brilliant. I always wanted to go back and read it again chapter by chapter and watch the respective videos. Thankfully, there’s so much good work being done now by authors who are finally mining Michael’s brilliance instead of trashing him. Still hope to get back to Armond someday.

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