Michael Jackson would have turned 53 today. His lasting imprint on pop culture is being celebrated worldwide, but it’s especially strong in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.
The town will be hosting a 4-day celebration this week. City spokeswoman LaLosa Burns says Gary wants to preserve the legacy of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family, whom left for California in 1969 after the Jackson 5 made it big.
Jackson’s three children recently visited the house Jackson grew up in. According to his oldest daughter, they’ve all adjusted well.
Hundreds of miles away from Gary, fans are still in mourning for the King of Pop.
"You can say, hey, that was just another celebrity, a pop star, the King of Pop–but Michael Jackson really did have an impact on our society," Colorlines.com contributor Tammy Johnson said in a video that was recorded on June 25, 2009, the day Jackson was pronounced dead. "He made it OK for white girls to scream at black man and to say that they wanted him. He made it OK for white boys to do the moonwalk."
"Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama," Reverend Al Sharpton told the Guardian in 2009.