Music museums keep Michael Jackson exhibits on display

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Megastar Michael Jackson’s musical legacy has been getting critically reappraised after a new documentary rekindled allegations of child abuse, but at least two music museums in Detroit and Tennessee aren’t scrubbing the King of Pop from their exhibits.

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAAM) said some Michael Jackson artefacts will be on display in a planned exhibit called ‘One Nation Under A Groove’, when the museum opens in downtown Nashville in early 2020. The museum has previously released renderings of the building’s design, featuring an image of Jackson on the exterior.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, the Chairwoman and CEO of Motown Museum said its mission is to share the stories and artefacts of the history of Motown.

“Michael Jackson’s musical contributions remain part of the Motown story,” Robin Terry said.

Motown Records was the first major label to record ‘The Jackson 5’, in which Michael debuted as a young star alongside his siblings, and released their hits I Want You Back and ABC.

“The importance of Michael Jackson’s music to the African American culture, and to the American soundtrack, is unrivalled,” said President and CEO of the NMAAAM H Beecher Hicks III in a statement provided to The Associated Press.

“As a part of our ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ gallery, Jackson will be defined by his music, his importance to pop culture, music videos and his impact on changing the course of popular music in our country. NMAAM has collected some artefacts which will be on display in this gallery, each of which will help highlight these aspects of his contributions to African American music. We understand that, like music itself, legacies are constantly evolving, and that we must be able to evolve and shift as needed.”

A publicist for NMAAM said the design of the structure is still preliminary, and they have planned on having a rotating display of artiste images on the building’s exterior signs.

Chief Curator at the Motown Historical Museum Lina Stephens, adjusts costumes from the Jackson 5 exhibit at Hitsville USA in Detroit on June 21, 2010. – PHOTOS: AP
A hat and sequined glove once belonging to Michael Jackson are displayed at the Motown Historical Museum