Laurean D. Robinson
June 10, 2016 5:34 AM EST
If you are anything like me, you are making summer plans to enjoy the sun, beach and (more importantly) entertainment – new films, local events, festivals and CONCERTS!
Being part of the Beyhive, I got tickets to see Beyoncé for the opening of her Formation World Tour here in Miami at Marlins Park a few months ago, a concert that was SOLD OUT almost immediately after tickets became available online. What a major achievement for a young African American woman my age in the music industry! #IJS #BlackGirlMagic
Her success and showmanship on that night reminded me of a family dynasty in popular music that sadly, millennials have never experienced before.
It is an American family that came from Gary, Indiana who overcame the odds of poverty to become famously talented and loved with a fan base that spanned the globe.
The Jacksons: Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, Randy and their young brother (and future King of Pop) Michael.
Growing up in the 80’s and especially in a predominately pale community, my parents instilled in my younger brother and me the importance of our immense wealth of Black culture.
We listened to Motown giants like The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Martha and the Vandellas.
Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, we watched Motown’s The Wiz along with The Wizard of Oz.
Every Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, my father played cassette tapes of the Civil Rights leader’s speeches.
On Malcolm X’s birthday and death, we watched Spike Lee’s film.
During the summer of 1984, Motown’s newly emancipated wonderkids, The Jackson 5, had just signed with CBS and were creating new music on their own terms and promoting that music on their Victory Tour all over the country.
And they stopped in Miami at the Orange Bowl Stadium (look that up, kiddies).
And as the amazing parents that they are, they bought tickets and brought their toddler with them – that was me.
When I reflect on that night now, I remember two major things – the bright lights of the stage from the nosebleed section we were in and the first song, “Can You Feel It.”
For years, that song’s message and music video stayed in my head, bringing me such unconscious pride of all that I could become, just like the Jacksons.
It wasn’t until 2005 with YouTube that I was able to see actual footage of that tour. I even bought the concert album from Amazon.
What those men were able to accomplish in that concert and tour is something every artist needs to strive for.
The group performed 55 concerts to an audience of approximately 2 million. The tour reportedly grossed $75 million and set a new record for the highest grossing tour.
Now that’s greatness.
Enjoy your summer!