Growing up in the early 70s, I used to listen to the Jackson 5. Their 45 singles were the incentive for purchasing sugary morning cereals that included a record pressed on vinyl. I'm certain to have had a crush on young Michael.
Fast forward 10 years. The Boston area was one of the first TV markets to cablecast MTV in 1981. African Americans and Latinos were conspicuously missing from the music video rotation. Besides selling millions of CDs, Michael Jackson memorably broke the color barrier on MTV cable.
On the train this morning, I watched the faces of straphangers reading the dailies about Jackson's death. My thoughts drifted to the new era we are entering after having lost an icon and gained another in President Obama.