Did you know that “The King of Pop” had an honorary degree from an HBCU?
It is true, in 1988 Michael Jackson was given an honorary doctor of humane letters from Nashville’s very own HBCU, Fisk University.
According to a 1988 article in JET Magazine about the event where Jackson was given the degree, Jackson had received a lot of criticism for his Victory Tour because of its high ticket prices and the argument that it was not putting money back into the Black community. In order to silence the critics, according to the JET article, he established The Michael Jackson Scholarships with The United Negro College Fund, “an umbrella organization for 42 private, historically Black institutions of learning,” with a large portion of money that he earned from the his tours.
To honor Jackson for his $600,000 donation to HBCU students, the United Negro College Fund awarded him during their 44th annual gala with their top honor, the Fredrick D. Patterson Award. Celebrities including Spike Lee, Quincy Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli were all in attendance and to make things even better, Whitney Houston sang the Black National Anthem, Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.
At the end of the event, Fisk University’s President, Dr. Henry Ponder presented Jackson an honorary degree. Among Jackson’s remarks, JET Magazine quotes him stating, “To want to learn, to have the capacity to learn and not be able to is a tragedy. I am honored to be associated with an evening that says this will never happen. Thank you, I love you all.”
President Ronald Reagan even sent Jackson a congratulations via pre-recorded tape stating:
“Michael, I’m sorry that Nancy and I could not be with you for this very special day, but I want to congratulate you for the honors you are receiving tonight from the United Negro College Fund and the honorary degree awarded you by Fisk University. Let me be the first to call you the new Dr. “J.”
Check out some pictures from the event below:
Share this on Facebook and make someone’s day!
Deltas4 days ago
The Top Delta Sigma Theta Graduation Photos of Spring 2019
SGRhos1 week ago
The Top Sigma Gamma Rho Graduation Photos of Spring 2019
List4 days ago
4 Trailblazing Members of Black Sororities
Zetas6 days ago
The Top Zeta Phi Beta Graduation Photos of Spring 2019
Kappas1 week ago
Kappa Alpha Psi’s Eric Johnson Was Just Elected Mayor of Dallas
Alphas5 days ago
This Is What a Howard University Alpha Phi Alpha Neophyte Presentation Looks Like in 2019
Alphas1 week ago
Check Out The Newest Stroll From The Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha at The University of Florida
SGRhos1 week ago
The SGRhos Did This House Party Themed Step Show at Southern University