Pop Culture The Tea The Word 4 minute read




Oooooooweeeee, Honey Child, The Janet Jackson Concert gave me LIFE last night! There is nothing like hearing songs from your past that conjure great times from back in the day, sung live by the artist, who looks fierce to let you know that the future is also bright.


I go to a lot of concerts, but I was trying to think about what made Janet’s particularly special.


The Crowd is Diverse

If you have in phobias, issues, prejudices or are just stand-offish don’t bring your stuck-up ass to a Janet Jackson concert. It’s nothing but LOVE there: gay love, straight love, White love, Black love, Transgender love, whatever. Everybody is happy and grooving—bonded by the love of music. I was takings snaps for and with the folks all around me—all of them as different as fingerprints.


The Dancers are Diverse

I want to give Janet a big fat kiss for hiring the baaaadddddest, fiercest, most diverse background dance troupe eva-eva! This was not your cookie-cutter type of dance group. She had a set of tween/teen (maybe) girls who werked. She had transgender, tall, short, skinny, every race. It was a box of skittles! Taste the rainbow! But a dancer named Allison stole the show for me and my Janet crew (the folks around me). She was what some would call voluptuous. In other words, she had the body of most Black woman; not the body of the standard dancer. Honey child, this woman had moves that would make the most devout priest reconsider his oath. As one of my friends likes to say, “she was bad for days.”


Seeing this multicultural multi-sized, multi-aged group of dancers, screamed the message “You can Do It! You can do anything you fucking want to do! Yes, even you!”


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I don’t know if it’s Botox, mud baths, prayer, good sex, but girlfriend looks goooooooood and moves great—all 49 years of her. I swear I’m going to do ten more minutes of cardio and five more squats today, just because of Janet.


Her music sounds just like it did when you were playing it on your boom box in your bedroom. Primarily because she is lip-synching her ass off—but while you are there in the magic of the show you don’t even care. You came to see Janet Jackson, not Barbara Streisand.


I forgot how many songs Janet had. I laughed that she and her music took me from my freshman “Let’s wait awhile” stage to my senior year “Anytime, Anyplace” stage. I won’t even go into the Pleasure Principle stuff!



Staying in her Lane

You know what I dug most about Janet, she has stayed in her lane for the duration of her career. I think that is tough for celebrities, who must have fairly large egos and people surrounding them piling them with praises.   Janet has sold over 75 million albums and is just an average singer — at best. She whispers. Don’t get huffy, I’m just saying Janet is not a one in a million or even one in 100 type of voice. We all have at least five people in our church, school choir or family who can out-sing her easily. Janet is not Whitney, Mariah or Aretha; but what I love about her is that she has never tried to be.   She never tried to come out with some great over-the-top ballad. She knew herself, was honest about her strengths and weaknesses , did the best with it, and built an empire.


All in all, that’s what I think made the night/the show so special.   Janet loves and accepts herself. She loves ALL people. It’s just love and I really dig that.



My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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