Abstract: In this seventeenth episode Karin and Elizabeth discuss the academic essay ‘‘The Isle Is Full Of Noises’: Revisiting The Peter Pan Of Pop’,
‘Crack Music’: Michael Jackson’s InvincibleBy Elizabeth Amisu Inspired by the chapter, ‘Invincible, The Denouement Album’ from The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson by Elizabeth
‘Throats are part of the erotic act, commanding, whispering, swallowing. Through his cries, whispers, groans, whines, and grunts. Michael Jackson occupies a third space of gender.’ Francesca Royster explores the sexualisation of Jackson’s voice throughout his earlier solo works, ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ while contextualising his voice within the wider concept of African-American sexuality and its representation.
Placed with permission of the author Raven Woods
In 1926, poet and essayist Langston Hughes wrote a short but stirring piece that became a manifesto for the Harlem Renaissance, the great cultural movement that brought Black art, culture, and music to prominence in American society. Last spring, when I assigned this essay to one of my American Lit classes, it occurred to me that much of what Hughes wrote in 1926 could also apply to many of the trials and tribulations that Michael Jackson would endure as an African-American artist more than sixty years later. Here is Langston Hughes’s essay. The sections that are highlighted are my emphasis, as these are important points that I will return to later when addressing the essay’s relevance to Michael Jackson: