There's no denying that Michael Jackson has influenced pop music in vast and varied ways. Today, Columbia College's Center for Black Music Research
kicks off a two-day symposium exploring some of his contributions. Genius without Borders: A Symposium in Honor of the Genius of Michael Jackson
takes a range of perspectives on his legacy. There are panels exploring his relationship to Africa and discussions of his early years in Chicago. That last conversation will be moderated by Chicago author Jake Austen tomorrow morning. Austen's the publisher of Roctober Magazine
. He's also writing a book about Jackson's early years in Chicago. Tomorrow morning he'll moderate the panel Big Boy: Michael Jackson in Chicago, 1965-1968.
Music Button: Magnifico, "Zum Zum", from the CD Magnification, (Piranha)