In the wake of pop icon Michael Jackson's passing, the Department of Minority Studies at Indiana University Northwest was called upon to assist Dutch Public Television from Amsterdam with an extensive news piece the network did on the early days of the Jackson Five in Gary, Ind.
Video from that story is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/v/SjZj651R2Uc&hl=nl&fs=1&
While most media organizations focused their Jackson coverage on Southern California, the Dutch network took a close look at Jackson's roots and the role that the Gary community played in his and his brothers' musical development. The network dispatched a news crew to Gary and to IU Northwest, where they interviewed several members of the campus community, including Adjunct Professor of Minority Studies Richard Hatcher, who served as Gary’s mayor during the time that the Jacksons rose from their Northwest Indiana roots to superstardom.
IU Northwest Associate Professor of Minority Studies Earl Jones, Ph.D., IU Northwest Adjunct Professor of Minority Studies Jihad Muhammad, IU Northwest IT technician Samuel Ingram, and IU Northwest graduate Carolyn Jordan, were also among those campus community members who contributed their knowledge of the Jacksons and the Gary area to this international media story.
The direct link to the Dutch Public Television story is http://www.netwerk.tv/uitzending/2009-07-03/michael-jackson-van-gary-tot-los-angeles
Jones has conducted extensive research into the history and significance of Gary's Midtown as part of his ongoing Historic Midtown Project, which not only aims to promote the historic preservation of Midtown's history and culture, but also to craft a viable economic development plan for the community's future. As part of the department's assistance with the Dutch TV project, Muhammad took the news crew on a tour of Midtown and the Jacksons' old neighborhood. Jordan and Ingram, who remembered the Jacksons from their days in Gary, shared their personal recollections.