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The Early Life of Michael Jackson

In: Film and Music

Submitted By tomyyam222
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1958–75: Early life and The Jackson 5
Michael Jackson was born the seventh of nine children on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago, to an African American working-class family. His mother, Katherine Esther Scruse, was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and his father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, a steel mill worker who performed with an R&B band called The Falcons. Jackson had three sisters: Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, and five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Randy.[3]
Jackson had a troubled relationship with his father. He stated that he was physically and emotionally abused during incessant rehearsals, whippings, and name-calling, though he credited his father's discipline for his success.[4] In one altercation recalled by Marlon, Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks".[5] Joseph would also trip or push his sons into walls. One night while Michael was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window, wearing a fright mask and screaming. He said he wanted to teach the children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Jackson said he suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.[5] Joseph acknowledged in 2003 that he regularly whipped Jackson as a child.[6]
Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in an interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on February 10, 1993. He said that he had often cried from loneliness and would sometimes vomit when he saw his father. In an interview with Martin Bashir, later included in the 2003 broadcast of Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson acknowledged that his father hurt him when he was a child, but was nonetheless a "genius." When Bashir dismissed the positive remark and continued asking about beatings, Jackson put his...

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