Joe Vogel’s “‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets: Rescreening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black Or White”

15 Aug

In recent weeks, Joe Vogel, noted author on works about Michael Jackson, has been cyber stalked and bullied in a blatant effort to censor his work. Dr. Vogel is an Assistant Professor at Merrimack College whose Doctoral thesis was on the work of Michael Jackson. His works in include Man In the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus” and numerous articles on Michael Jackson and other popular music and literary figures. Dr. Vogel contributed an essay on “Thriller” for the the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. “Thiller” is the only music short film to be added to the National Registry of the Library of Congress.

Dr. Vogel’s essay for the  National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress on Michael Jackson’s Thriller can be found here:–FINAL.pdf.

An individual falsely accused Dr. Vogel of plagiarism for his article “‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets:’ Rescreening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black Or White.” The complaint was made to and the article was taken down on August 9th pending investigation. In the words of Dr. Vogel, “ is not a publisher; they don’t hold the copyright; they are simply a platform (think, the academic version of Facebook). My article remains available in its actual journal (where it was peer-reviewed) and publisher website (Wiley).” We are happy to report that the article is back up on’s website as of Aug 12 and can be found here:

“‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets: Rescreening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black Or White”

We highly recommend a blog by Willa Stillwater and Joie Collins called “Dancing With The Elephants.” They provide fascinating academic insight, along with many special guests, into the creative life of Michael Jackson. Their most recent publication, “Causing Grief in Human Relations,” addresses this particular incident of bullying and attempted censorship of Joe Vogel. We urge you to read this latest blog and don’t miss the comment section. There are some incredibly thoughtful and well written comments recording this difficult time in the MJ Community. The comments will give you a really good understanding of the harassment experienced by those who write about Michael Jackson, both academics and others in the MJ Community.

“Causing Grief in Human Relations” by Willa Stillwater and Joie Collins.

This is a serious case of cyber stalking and harassment that is literally an attempt to ruin the career of Joe Vogel. Although this is a serious example of what some in this community are doing to discredit those who are writing positive and meaningful work on Michael Jackson, he is by no means the only one that is targeted. We need writers like DB Anderson, Joe Vogel, Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Susan Fast, Willa Stillwater, Raven Woods, Armond White and others who have taken on the challenge of writing serious analysis of Michael Jackson’s creative work.

We are heartened by the increase in academic works related to Michael Jackson. We are encouraged at the increase in Michael Jackson related study being added at universities around the world. It is important that this work continues for the impact it has on Michael Jackson’s legacy and its reach to new generations.

We need to discourage the harassment and destruction that many of us feel when we are trying to change the tabloid narrative that persists. We all have opinions and we must share them constructively and with civility if we do not want the tabloid narrative to succeed.

11 Responses to “Joe Vogel’s “‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets: Rescreening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black Or White””

  1. sunsetdriver2013 August 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Excellent post! Thank you!

    Sent from Windows Mail

  2. corlista1 August 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    Well done, MJ Truth! Very well written analysis of what’s been going on the last couple weeks with Mr. Vogel. I’ve followed every word of it on DWTE. I’ve also followed the accusers on Twitter for several months now. Their incendiary rhetoric has escalated to the point they no longer care who they hurt or the extent of the damage. It’s not about Michael at all. It’s about them and their rage against anyone who doesn’t agree with their POV. Michael wld be sickened by such hate speech/tactics. The MJ community rallied and stood squarely behind Mr Vogel. It is imperative that we continue do so whenever Michael’s legacy is usurped by those with destructive and malevolent agendas.

  3. Sheryl Wilder August 15, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for this. I knew I could count on MJ Truth now to concisely and carefully respond to the accusations. I try to keep an open mind, but found it difficult to accept the accusations. My recent limited leisure time recently didn’t allow me to dig into the matter in my own. Your work here was what had been hoping to read. Again, thank you for this and every piece you carefully write.

  4. MJJRealRealm August 16, 2015 at 12:16 am #

    Reblogged this on MJJRealRealm.

  5. MJJJusticeProject August 16, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    Reblogged this on mjjjusticeproject and commented:
    ” It’s not about Michael at all. It’s about them and their rage against anyone who doesn’t agree with their POV. Michael wld be sickened by such hate speech/tactics” Corlista

  6. Raven August 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Thanks. We must continue to support all of the writers who are doing such great work.

  7. ambwirt August 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Thank you, MJ Truth Now for posting this. I had not been on Willa’s and Joie’s site for a while, and receiving their blog article was a wonderful reminder of how important they are to the academic study of MJ’s work. Thank you for continuing your efforts to ensure the legacy that MJ deserves.

  8. lmcisne August 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Truth will prevail! It must. We cannot sit back and let slander furthur ruin Michael and the ones standing up for him. Long live the King.

  9. Blue July 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Why is there nothing for 2016? Conrad Murray’s scandalous book is out and no one is defending MJ? Is MJ Truth Now, gone, given up, asleep? What?

    • MJTruthNow July 20, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

      Not gone at all. Not given up. The felon’s book is not worthy of clicking and spreading around.

      • corlista1 July 21, 2016 at 10:17 am #

        Agree! But to Blue on’s point, there are many defending MJ including an active campaign to Amazon not to sell book based on copyright infringement.

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