Michael. Michael was the first icon of my generation. He loved entertaining, and we loved watching him and listening to him and imitating him. Along the way, he learned/understood the value of being enigmatic. It’s a very ‘Hollywood’ thing to do; the myth/mystery of who you are behind closed doors becomes part of your attraction. In Mike’s case, it’s fair to say the enigma thing backfired on him in his later years; there’s definitely a point where you don’t want to be a complete wildcard. But when Mike did what he did best, he was peerless. His personal and professional ambition to separate himself, first from his family than from his peers, drove him to break down boundaries for everyone who came behind him.
Malcolm. Malcolm was and still is one our heroes. ‘Our Shining Black Prince’. His words, both in written form and in oratory, made us really proud to be Black. No one man or group will single handedly reverse a system that undermines the self esteem and self worth of a culture. But Malcolm definitely tried, he tried harder than anyone before or since. That oversimplifies a lot of things, but on a basic level that’s why we love him.
Marlon. The Prototype for American actors. Not only that, but the pioneer for ‘the movie star as social crusader’. Marlon was friends with Dr. King and James Baldwin; he even more infamously stood up for Native Americans; he was even friendly with the Panthers for a time. But what do the people who knew him best say about him? He was a nut! He loved to laugh and he loved to joke with others. For all the serious causes he was involved in and supported, he still had no problem knowing when to loosen up, and not take things too seriously.
Anyway, halftime is almost over. Some very good things happened in the first half, but the Game is far from over. Make the necessary adjustments based on what you’ve seen, but we can stick to the Game Plan and win this. You’re a veteran now, you don’t need much more of a pep talk than that.
Rise dark knight. Rise.