I've avoided posting about Michael's passing because I've had mixed feelings. As someone who understands all too well the damage childhood sexual abuse can leave behind, reports of his alleged sexual abuse of young boys were extremely painful to take in. And these were all the more difficult to process, given his numerous medical treatments to alter his blackness and the shunning of that blackness in his life; a life that was so complex and full of extremes in all directions.
But I can't help the tremendous sadness I've felt at the loss of the innocent creative spirit in a little boy whose memory will live on, well beyond our time.
In this video, his haunting acapella solo echoes with sadness and loneliness. It makes me want to tear into the people who exploited and abused a gift so vulnerable and so precious, while shaking (at the least) the man Michael became -- a man who further destroyed that little boy he used to be, possibly in ways he, himself, had been destroyed.