consisted of the black families who, at least visually, resembled his own. At a time when blackpride was wavering, Michael Jackson made every young black boy in America feel that they toocould be a Pop star and viewed as "cute"; if they had the requisite afro and psychedelic 70s attire. White people also loved Michael Jackson. They recognized and rewarded his extraordinary talentsand creativity when he was allowed to be the first black artist to have a video played on MTV; amove that positioned him as the King Of Pop and ignited record sales of Thriller, the best sellingalbum of all time. Michael Jackson is as much a part of their lives - and occupies as big of a space in their hearts -as he does in the hearts of most black people; however, it's the white media that has shownirreverence for the last decade by dogging him at every given chance. By choosing to focus on his eccentricities (to which Michael Jackson responded with his song,Leave Me Alone), prosecuting him in the court of public opinion after he was legally acquitted formolestation, and disparagingly referring to him as "Wacko Jacko," the white media certainlycontributed to his mounting stress over the years, and short-term exile from the U.S. Michael Jackson was not physically well, nor physically fit. We took for granted the amount ofpreparation, discipline, energy, and hard work that he put into being the greatest entertainer thatever lived. The trait of all professionals is how easy they make things look. Michael Jacksonperformances were well-rehearsed, and characterized by flawless precision and timing. He madethem look easy, but they were a physically demanding and often exhaustive undertaking; one thata younger, healthier Michael Jackson was conditioned to executing. The older, physically and mentally distressed Michael Jackson was never going to be able tohonor 50 performance dates. It would have been the equivalent of Michael Jordan coming back atthe age of 50 and trying to compete at the same (athletic) level in a playoff game; it's just notpossible. Drugs might make it seem possible, but only for a fleeting moment. Entertainers, like athletes, have a hard time letting go of what once was, in exchange for what nowis: a feeble body that can not generate the type of performance that the public has grownaccustomed to seeing. Usually when it happens you step-down. But Michael Jackson attempted tostep-up. Still carrying the distinction as perhaps the last black artist who can sell out a stadium, and beingpainfully aware of his increasing physical limitations, he attempted to cater to the desires of hisfiercely loyal fans just one more time. He would tour again and restore himself (and reputation) viathe platform on which he is most comfortable, and the one that launched his illustrious career: thestage. The This Is It Tour was set to begin in July, 2009. Michael Jackson (who had not performed on this level in over 8 years) knew what the fans wouldbe expecting: the old Michael Jackson. Like any polished professional who is aware of his brand,he attempted to deliver on those expectations. What medications/drugs he took (which may have jeopardized his health in order to honor those expectations) may never be known.