Jerald Walker in his article, “Before Grief”, shows his love for Michael Jackson and describes the emotional connection between himself and Michael. He wrote his article three weeks after Michael Jackson’s death, so we could see pathos through his article. After Jackson’s death, some people in the media called him a freak and not a real hero. Walker tried to defend Michael in “Before Grief” by comparing his own life with him and stating Michael’s impact on his life. Walker starts with those negative that are told about Michael and then connect his own life with him.
Through the information that walker gives us about his childhood with his siblings, we can realize he wants to compare his own siblings and childhood to the work that Michael was doing. He is trying to say that although he and his siblings were goofy and mimicking Michael Jackson’s group’s act, Michael was serious about his work. As he says: “Though my siblings and I were only having fun, just messing around, for Michael this was serious business, this was work_ like performing was work for James Brown, the man whose style he had already mastered, like performing was work for Smoky Robinson, the man whose soul he had already cloned”(walker 174).
Walker asserts that how Michael Jackson had influence on his childhood life. He describes his argument between him and his siblings about which one of them should be Michael. They grew up listening to Michael Jackson’s music. He wants to mention the effect of Michael Jackson on his life.
He shows how similar were his household and Michael’s. In his opinion, Michael was a great person and a hero and to show that, walker brings forward his own family’s support and mentions the impact that Jackson’s family had on his own family to break the religious rules. “ That was the year the Walker Six was allowed to turn on the television on a Saturday, our Sabbath, because the first episode of the Jackson 5ive cartoon was on” ( Walker 176). He also explains the similarities of his own religion with Michael’s religion which shows the emotional connection and the effect of Michael Jackson on his life. By bringing similarities between their religion, he shows that he felt connected with Michael as he says: “ Like the Jackson’s faith, ours forbade celebrating Christmas, Halloween, birthdays, and Easter, and we were also discouraged from socializing with nonmembers, resulting in siblings being not just siblings but also best friends” (Walker 175).
In conclusion, it is hard to say that what was his point for writing this article. First time when I read it, I thought it is just about his grief for Michael Jackson’s death, but when I read it again, I realized through all the memories that Walker brings and all the comparisons in his article, he actually wants to show the legacy that was important to him and how this legacy influenced his life.