My Problem With Michael Jackson Tributes
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

I’m finding the prospect of these Michael Jackson tributes being aggressively produced and promoted by media companies to be depressing, exploitative and more than a bit hypocritical. They know that they’ll get ratings and make money off of Jackson’s death. But they weren’t exactly backing Jackson up in life. I don’t plan to watch or listen to any of them, though I may see some of it just by chance. Never mistake a fan for a friend. We all love Jackson’s music, but we all did not and do not love him. The media hypocrisy sickens.

Jackson was misunderstood because we assume that because we love his videos and know every word of every one of his songs, we know him. WE MAY NEVER KNOW HIM. We hardly truly know members of our own families. Yet we think we really know Jackson and other celebrities whose music, movies,videos, families, marriages and lives we obsess over.

Michael Jackson’s work should certainly be honored. And his life and death will be worthy of news coverage for decades to come. But is everything we are seeing, and the “tributes” we have yet to see, honoring him as a person, as a human being? I don’t think so.

What we are seeing is the 21st century equivalent of the Roman soldiers casting lots for the garments of Jesus (Luke 23:34). Most of us did not value Michael Jackson as a person, as flawed as he was (and all of us are). We just covet what he left behind.

I, for one, want better for Jackson’s memory, his family and those who truly knew and loved him. Because it is just what I would want for me and mine, when my life is over.


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Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is SVP/Editor-at-large of BLACK ENTERPRISE. He is a content leader, brand representative and expert resource for all media platforms under the BLACK ENTERPRISE brand, including the web site, social media and live networking events. From 2008 through 2010, Edmond was SVP/Editor-in-chief of, helping to lead the transition of BLACK ENTERPRISE from single-magazine publisher to digital-first multimedia company. From 1995 through 2008, Edmond was chief editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He has also hosted The Urban Business Roundtable on WVON-AM in Chicago and Money Matters, a syndicated radio feature of American Urban Radio Networks. Edmond is also an entrepreneur, speaker, author and amateur natural bodybuilding competitor.