I would like to thank everyone for the heartfelt messages of best wishes on my Birthday. 86 years old and still going strong. I spent the full week of my birthday between Tokyo, Barcelona and I am on my way right now to New York via London. I want to thank the fans who continue to be loyal and kind to me. Everywhere I have gone, I have been shown much love. A few words on my 86th Birthday to all my grand kids. You are so many
The three pictures are all of me. I never listened to society when it told me, that my life was destined for the steel mill. That my offspring to a life of hardship. I never listened when it judged us by our race. I never listened when it said our music could not transcend race, culture, boarders or religion. I never listened when I was laughed at for dreaming I would make my family (Your uncles) into a music group. I did not care when I heard the laughter of the neighbors and the mockery and sinister comments. I never listen when it called my late son names, ridiculed and joked about him. Society would not have cared had we been on welfare in Gary Indiana, nor would it have come with a helping hand. It had no chicken in that fight. Why would I care what it thinks, writes or says about me, now ! Why ? Why would I ?? Why in the world would I ???
All it takes is to believe in yourself. But you cannot be able to believe in yourself if at the same time you listen to all the negative comments of others. The two do not go together. Let others spend their time writing and talking negatively about you. Let them talk, you go and do it!. Belief comes with experience. So do not be afraid to feel scared. It is o.k. Your uncles were scared too. Society may predict, but only you will determine your destiny.
I remember at the Apollo theater, they had heard that if you can perform there and they accept you, you can perform anywhere in the world. But they also heard that if they did not accept you, they would throw things at you on stage.That scared them like crazy. I remember watching them touch a little stump on the stage for good luck.After they got through that show, I could see the belief in their eyes and I knew nothing could stop us.
Graduation of Stevana Jackson, Harvard University
Stevana: I would travel all over for you. I remember flying back to Boston for your graduation. I would not miss it for anything in the world. It was a great day to watch you graduate. I look forward always to your calls and visits. The little notes and touching birthday wishes. You never fail to send me. Stay focused, the world is yours.
Brandi: You have grown up so quickly. Seems only yesterday you were a baby. Your actions are true. Coming to the hospital when I suffered 4 strokes and staying by my bedside.
Prince: I know your father Michael raised you right and you will never forget him. I know you loved him dearly. You are only finding out now how big he was. I enjoy your calls all the time. “Hi Grandpa, I am just checking on you”: I can hear that sentence even as I dictate this.