The Rev. Al Sharpton arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon from New York and said the Jackson family had invited him to help devise ways to honor the pop star.
“This man changed the world,” Sharpton said. “He changed pop culture. Michael Jackson broke down barriers.”
Addressing a group of reporters at LAX, Sharpton said Jackson’s legacy as a cultural icon should be the media’s focus, not his controversial past.
“He never got credit,” Sharpton said. “He was not a freak, he was a genius....He was not somebody who was eccentric. He was an innovator.”
Sharpton said he would meet with the Jackson family later today. He said one way to honor the pop star might be to create “a day of mourning in key cities around the world on his birthday.” Sharpton also mentioned a gathering at the Apollo Theater in New York scheduled for Tuesday night.
--Alan Zarembo at Los Angeles International Airport