One thing that is bugging me about the now non-stop tributes to Michael Jackson - the contention that Michael was the 'Jackie Robinson' of popular music, the first black act to achieve crossover appeal with both blacks and whites. I have seen variations of this theme a half dozen times or more on TV since last evening. To listen to some of this nonsense, you would think that Sam Cooke, James Brown , Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the 4 Tops, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Jackie Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, and many , many, others never existed.
I know we live in a history challenged culture, where 25 years is as about as far back as people in the pop culture critic circles can remember, but this is ridiculous.
There may be one area where Jackson was a 'pioneer', in that he was the first black artist played on MTV. But MTV at that time didn't play country music videos, or 'lite rock' videos, or videos from any genres other than rock. So the pioneering aspect of MJ's videos I believe is somewhat distorted.
The guy was a musical genius, but far from a civil rights pioneer, intentionally or otherwise.