Spike Lee Plans Brooklyn Block Party for Michael Jackson's Birthday on Aug. 29

The Root
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Michael Jackson would have turned 51 on Aug. 29. To celebrate Jackson's life, Spike Lee is throwing a Brooklyn block party on that day.

"It's going to just be how we do it, Brooklyn-style, I'll leave it at that," Lee said. "It's going to be a joyous, festive, celebratory party." And free.

Lee said he's been hit hard by Jackson's death, so he decided to host the birthday party.

"We're of the same era," said Lee, who grew up following Jackson's career, including watching Saturday-morning Jackson 5 cartoons. "I wanted my Afro to be perfectly round like Michael's, all that stuff."

Years later, the King of Pop and the Oscar-nominated filmmaker collaborated on a music video for "They Don't Care About Us," shot in Brazil. The two never worked together again.

Anybody and everybody is invited to attend the party, from noon to 5 p.m., at Fort Greene Park in the New York borough. DJ Spinna will spin all things Jackson, from the Jackson 5 to the Jacksons to Michael Jackson. The Brooklyn borough president reportedly will be on hand to declare Aug. 29 "Michael Jackson Day."

"At the end, we'll all sing 'Happy Birthday' to Michael," Lee said. "We're going to make sure he hears us, too. All over the world, people are going to be celebrating his birthday. But he's going to hear Brooklyn; Brooklyn is going to be in the house. Deep."

Also on Aug. 29, Jackson will be buried at a Los Angeles cemetery, the New York Daily News reported Monday. Joe Jackson, the singer's father, told the newspaper that the plan was finalized in recent days.

Media reports last week said Michael Jackson, who died June 25 of cardiac arrest, was buried in a private ceremony earlier this month. But those reports were based on unnamed sources and never confirmed by Jackson family representatives.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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