Episode 39 – MJ & Civil Rights

Abstract: In this Special episode, Karin and Elizabeth, discuss Michael Jackson and civil Rights and how he addressed institutional racism in his Art.

NB: Unfortunately there is a disturbing noise in the last 5 minutes of the recording. I was unable to delete it from the recording and decided the topic is too important to cut it all out. My excuses to the listeners.


Merx, Karin, and Elizabeth Amisu. “Episode 39 – MJ & Civil Rights” Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation 6, no. 4 (2020). Published electronically 20/06/20. http://michaeljacksonstudies.org/episode-39/

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Episode 39: MJ & Civil Right by Elizabeth Amisu & Karin Merx

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear
-Dr Martin Luther King

Karin Merx BMus, MA, is editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies, and author of  ‘A festive parade of highlights. La Grande Parade as evaluation of the museum policy of Edy De Wilde at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam’. Find out more about Karin here.

Elizabeth Amisu, PGCE, MA, is editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies and author of The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife.

All Our References and Where to Easily Find Them

1. Institutional Racism Explained
2. Black History
3. Research guides British Transatlantic Slave-Trade Records
4. History in Focus
5. Number of people shot to death by the police in the United States from 2017 to 2020, by race https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/
6. Joseph Vogel, “Am I the Beast You Visualized?”The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson, Huffington Post, Jan 02, 2012.
7. Michael Jackson, They Don’t Care About Us -Brasil Version-, Director, Spike Lee.
8. Esther Schreuder, European nobility Dressing Up as Moor Etheopian, African or African Continent, Black is Beautiful: from Rubens to Dumas, Cat. exh. De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, July 26 – October 26, 2008, (Waanders, 2008).

TED Talks
9. Clint Smith, How To Raise a Black Son in America,
10. Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, The Urgency of Intersectionallity

11. Dream Girls, director: Bill Gordon, Cast: Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Eddy Murphy
12. Selma, Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches initiated and directed by James Bevel and led by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams, and John Lewis.
13. 13th, Documentary, director: Ava DuVernay.
14. When They See Us, Documentary, director: Ava DuVernay.
15. Who Killed Malcolm X?, Documentary, directors: Rachel Dretzin, Phil Bertelsen.
16. LA92, Documentary, directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin.
17. The Two Killings of Sam Cooke, Documentary, director: Kelly Duane de la Vega.
18. Teach Us All, Documentary, director: Sonia Lowman.
19. TIME|The Kalief Browder Story, Documentary, Creators: Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason, Nick Sandow.
20.Kevin Hart’s BLACK HISTORY, director: Tom Stem