Suddenly and shockingly, the King of Pop Michael Jackson died yesterday, and today, about a hundered fans packed together under the hot sun, outside the world famous Apollo Theater, to celebrate the life and legacy of the great pop icon. Selections from MJ's extensive song catalogue blared from a boom box and fans danced, sang and pretty much went crazy. I must admit, when my favorite MJ song "BEAT IT" boomed from the box, I had to put my camera down and join the crowd in singing the words (albeit off key), at the top of my lungs. Emotions were raw, but mostly upbeat and the energy was palpable. There were fans of all ages and colors which was testimony to MJ's reach as a musical artist. This was truly an event not to be missed, and I must say, helps in the grieving process.
I'm still in shock about the loss of MJ. It's the sort of surreality that will take weeks to sink in and fathom. I remember dancing and singing like MJ at local talent shows. I never won, but Michael was an impressionable star on young boys everywhere, especially Haitian ones. I didn't have a jherri curl, but I could do a mean Moonwalk! Man, what a loss! The most I could do to commemorate and make sense out of the loss was to photo-document, as I normally do, how the African American community comes together at a time of great tragedy or loss.
Enjoy the photos below, share them with friends, click any to enlarge. Check back next week for more images from this celebration of Michael jackson's memory.
Street commerce: MJ buttons for $1 apiece.
MJ's fan-base spanned generations. This grandmother was nestled in the dense crowd while sitting in a wheel chair!
Man in the mirror: Self-portrait in the thick of the crowd.
Check back next week for the second part of this series: Fandamonium! Michael Jackson fans gather at the Apollo II.