Katherine Jackson On Motherhood: “It Never Leaves You”
Katherine Jackson doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day or birthdays for religious reasons. But Michael Jackson’s mother, who turns 86 on May 4, but she never forgets the principles that coming with being a mother.
Born in 1930, Katherine contracted polio at the age of two. Though she survived the devastating disease, she would walk with a noticeable limp for the rest of her life. As a child, Katherine wanted to be a country singer, but became discouraged upon realizing that there were rarely successful Black people in country music.
Katherine later met Joe Jackson in 1947. After he annulled a previous marriage, the couple married in 1949. They sang together, while Joe played guitar, until he took a job at a steel mill and Katherine began giving birth to what would eventually be 10 children. Brandon, Marlon’s twin, died within 24 hours of childbirth.
“One thing about mothers,” Katherine says. “They have to really be there for their children when they need her. They should be there at all times and know where your children are at all times. You must make your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and let your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ That’s really the way to bring your children up.”
Unlike so much of her clan, Katherine Jackson has shunned the spotlight even as she supported Michael and his siblings singing, dancing and even moon-walking to greater and greater fame.
“Man of War” by the Jackson 5 and “Man in the Mirror” from Michael Jackson’s solo act.
“I love the message. It says, ‘Don’t go to war no more. Steady peace because peace is all we need.’”
Katherine went to every concert she could.
“I’d have to say my favorite concerts of Michael’s—all of ‘em. I never got tired of seeing it over and over and over again. Because I thought that they were just that great.
But the tour that sticks out in her mind as the ultimate, she says was the brothers’ record setting Victory Tour in 1984.
“Especially the Victory Tour. I love that one because it had all of my sons in it. All six.”
Michael’s generosity and his desire to “heal the world,” she says, were apparent from a very early age.
“You remember when they used to show the little African kids starving to death, flies all around their mouth? We,…