Joseph "Joe" Jackson

Lisa Respers France “Joe Jackson, musical family patriarch, dead at 89”
As Told to Rachel Leah “Joseph Jackson, father of pop culture icons Michael and Janet, dead at 89”
Felix Contreras “Joe Jackson, Strict Manager And Father To Pop Royalty, Dead At 89”

ジャクソン5の父親にしてマネージャー、ジョセフ・ジャクソン*1が現地時間6月27日に、ラス・ヴェガスの病院にて息を引き取った。享年89歳。死因は明かされていないが、長く膵臓癌を患っていたという。NHKは「マイケル・ジャクソンさんの父 ジョセフ・ジャクソンさん死去」というタイトルで伝えている*2。マイケル*3だけでなく、兄弟全員が一流のミュージシャンなので、マイケル或いはジャネットだけでは何となく片手落ちという感じもするし、ただきょうだい全員書くと、子どもを(生まれて直ぐに死んだ子を含めて)10人作っているのでかなり煩雑であるので、ジャクソン5の父親というのがいちばん適切かなと思ったのだが、娘であるジャネットやラ・トーヤはジャクソン5であったことはないので、この表現もいまいち。
Stereo Williams “How Joe Jackson Made—and Broke—Michael Jackson”という記事*4から引用してみる;

His relationship with his children was that of a domineering dictator. He drove the work ethic of the young Jackson 5 with intense practices while also serving as their business advisor and manager. In the early days, that meant Joe landing them a deal with Motown—but also led to Joe having the prescience to fight to leave the label after things took a turn in 1975.

His hand in their careers was always obvious, but it was also clear that his children wanted desperately to feel some semblance of warmth, love or compassion from their father.

“I love my father but I don’t know him,” Michael Jackson told Oprah during his famous 1993 interview. Janet echoed Michael’s sentiments. She told Piers Morgan in 2011: “I think my father means well... and wants nothing but the best for his kids... but that is not necessarily the right way,” and “I wish our relationship was different, but I know that he loves me.”


Joseph was of a generation that had its dignity regularly trampled by the daily systemic tyranny and cultural ignominy of racism. Gary wasn’t the Deep South, but there was a strong culture of bigotry and African Americans had been politically and economically shut out since The Great Migration. Joseph’s failings as a musician coupled with the go-nowhere prospects of his current conditions made him single-minded in his focus and in his frustration. He projected that frustration onto his children, both in why he wanted loftier heights for his kids and in how he went about pushing towards them. “Black people can’t fail,” Atlanta’s loquacious stoner Darius said so succinctly in the second season’s finale. And that adage was even more apt in the blue collar 1950s of Gary, Indiana.

In Joe and Katherine’s 2010 interview with Oprah, the conversation turned to Joe Jackson beating their kids. From depictions in the Jacksons’ 1992 TV movie to the countless revealing interviews with Michael, Joseph has been characterized as everything from brutal disciplinarian to outright sadistic abuser. Bringing up Joseph’s history, Winfrey reflected on how common the practice of parents beating their kids has been.

“I was beaten as a kid because that was the culture, that was the way we were raised,” Oprah said at the time. “You might as well admit it, that’s the way Black people raised their children,” Katherine said to Joseph, before admitting to Oprah, “He used a strap. Yes, he did use a strap.”

“One of the reasons particularly old-school Black parents took such strength with this is because one little mess-up outside could get you arrested or killed, as it did Emmett Till,” Whoopi Goldberg said on The View following that interview. “Their attitude was, ‘You’re representing me, you’re representing Black people.’”

The conversation surrounding corporal punishment tends to be framed as one specifically controversial for Black people. But it’s still permitted in 19 states and has been used fairly regularly in some areas—particularly throughout states in the South and Midwest. According to a 2014 Children’s Defense Fund report, 838 children were hit on average each day in American public schools, based on a 180-day school year. We can be overeager to reduce the dialogue surrounding hitting kids to one of Black pathology in lieu of greater American social mores and ideas surrounding discipline. Of course, the idea that it’s the most effective way to discipline has long been in dispute. And Black kids seem to be the ones on whom this theory is most practiced. According to that aforementioned 2014 study, Black kids are disproportionately subject to corporal punishment in school. What Joe Jackson represents does denote a culture, but that culture is American and the exemplars of it are often white and in positions of authority.



*1: See eg.


*3:See also


*5:Mentioned in

*6:See セーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン『子どもの体やこころを傷つける罰のない社会を目指して』 貫洞欣寛「日本で体罰容認6割の調査結果。「たたいたことある」も7割」