The Destruction and Creation of Michael Jackson
by Ellis Cashmore
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Pub Date 16 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 16 Jul 2022
However people remember Jackson, no one can deny that, in cultural terms, Jackson remains a compelling subject: an icon of the late 20th century, he reflects not only the changes in the circumstances of the African American population, but changes in white America. Jackson was idolized, perhaps even reified and, for many, objectified into an extraordinary being, an Other, for whom there were no established reference points in white people's conceptions.
The Destruction and Creation of Michael Jackson places Jackson at the center of its argument, but maintains he was a creation of, at first, American and, later, global culture at a time when it seemed desirable, if not necessary to exalt a
Black person on merit. America had become a society in which someone of Jackson's indisputable genius not only can, but must, rise to the top.
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