What does Black or White mean?

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Michael Jackson: Black or White Meaning

Song Released: 1991


Covered By: Glee Cast


Black or White Lyrics

I Took My Baby
On A Saturday Bang
Boy Is That Girl With You
Yes We're One And The Same

Now I Believe In Miracles
And A Miracle
Has Happened Tonight

But, If
You're Thinkin'
About My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're
Black Or...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 15th 2009 report

    Michael Jackson was an American entertainer that was widely beloved and, one of the most influential artists of all time. Through his career he had "sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." (MichaelJackson.com) On June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson, known as the "King of Pop", passed away. (mtv.com) His death is still a controversy but, it is known that drugs were involved.

    In 1991, described by Jackson's record company as "a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony", Black Or White was one of the biggest radio hits of the 1990s. (news.bbc.co.uk) The song includes instruments such as a guitar, possibly electric and bass, drums and even a keyboard. A listener is focused more on the vocals of the song, even though the instrumentals and the words seem to be at the same volume. The tempo of the song is fast, I do believe, to catch the listener's attention.

    As one listens to this song, they will realize that Jackson was expecting his audience to be both white or of color ethnicities. The common problem between many ethnicities is racism. These lyrics describe his opinion on racism and how they have affected him and the world around him. The first lyrics that caught my attention were "They printed my message, In the Saturday Sun, I had to tell them, I ain't second to none." Here he states that he is not no one, that he is a person, with equalities. Next, Jackson wrote " I told about Equality , An It's True, Either You're Wrong or you're right ." In these few lines Jackson is trying to say that everyone has their own opinion on what equality is. If someone has a different opinion on equality, each person is right. Later in the song, Jackson states "I am tired of this devil, I am tired of this stuff, I am tired of this business, So when the going gets rough, I ain't scared of your brother, I ain't Scared of No sheets, I ain't scare of nobody, Girl when the goin' gets mean." Jackson is stating that he is tired of the racism, which is described as a Devil . Also, he states that he is not scared of anyone when things get bad and will not let the racism, that another person has for a different ethnicity, affect him.

    In the song Black Or White, Jackson incorporates a rap. Within this rap he mentions how gangs, clubs and nations are protected for their beliefs even though it's "causing grief in human relations." Racism is a war of races, land or "turf" as Jackson describes it and he would "rather hear both sides" of people's opinions. Michael describes that racism in about "places, faces, where your blood comes from and where your space is". He also states that he's "not going to spend my life being a color." Jackson does not want the label of a different race, he wants people to see him for his artistic abilities. His features changed, and the color of his skin lightened significantly over the last two decades of his life. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson stated, "I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something I cannot help. When people make up stories that I don't like who I am, it hurts me." (cnn.com) Many people question if he had this skin disorder, or if Jackson used a process of chemical peels to change the pigment of his skin.
    One of the last few verses of Jackson's song Black or White, he stated "I said if you're thinking of being my brother, it don't matter if you're back or white." Jackson was a very open minded person and was willing to accept many people. One's race didn’t matter to this man. Through his song Michael Jackson opened up gates from many people to realize that no matter what one's skin to tone is. Everyone one was equal, but if one was racist it was okay because that was their choice as a human being. Even though he has passed away, Jackson's music has been some of the most successful and known work produced by an artist. Some of his words were for entertainment but others were to get a point or belief across to his fans.

    Grace Dossert

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 21st 2017 report

    When he says "I believe in miracles, and a miracle has happened tonight," he's referring to the days of Emmit Till when blacks were lynched for suggesting that they could be with a white woman, and it took a miracle to get us this far to where they are now able to be with a white woman and publicly state it without fear of being lynched by an angry white mob. That's why he told the white racist individual who questioned "boy is that girl with you," "yes, we're one in the same." This is a bold statement that couldn't be made back in the day, so it's a miracle that he can make that statement and live to talk about it.

  3. 3TOP RATED

    #3 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 1st 2012 report

    Ok, so it is bothering me too much that some people here are posting non-sense. You clearly do not get the song or maybe do not know how to express your understanding of it.

    This is the gist of it: He is saying that people are more than a color, so stop discriminating and making assumptions about who others are based on the color of their skin. It also talks about discrimination of religion and sexual orientation, and the message is to come together, it doesnt matter what religion, sexual orientation, or color(race or ethnicity) you identify with. We are all humans, we are equal!

    Pay special attention to the following part...
    The part where he sings: "and I told about equality, its true, you're either wrong or you're right" means that everyone should be treated as equals, that is the only thing that is right. If you do not think this, then you are wrong, because you would be encouraging discrimination, by saying that some or any group of people should not be treated as equals.

    He also sings, "It starts with you" meaning that you dont have to wait until the world magically changes, it starts with you, in your life and with the choices you make daily...choices of how to treat others, how to view others that are different from yourself.

    The interpretation from Sept 19th 2009 21:07 should be taken off or corrected please. It is misleading and incorrect.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th report

    I think that Black Or White is about Micheal Jackson doesn't care what your race is he'll still love you, and personally think that is amazing!! Rip.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th report

    I think is all about being nice to everyone. Becuase Mikael Jackson is a good friend and he really teach me about being good

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 25th 2021 report

    First of all, I think that all your interpretations are false /stupid!!!!!!
    Exactly what you said about me being so close to the other side of the road and the fact that you to be there for the first time this morning and then I was just thinking about in die yes. Then we will go back to the office tomorrow morning at noon and get ready for work at least once a day .

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 28th 2021 report

    Michael Jackson was an American entertainer that was widely beloved and, one of the most influential artists of all time. Through his career he had "sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." (MichaelJackson.com) On June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson, known as the "King of Pop", passed away. (mtv.com) His death is still a controversy but, it is known that drugs were involved.

    In 1991, described by Jackson's record company as "a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony", Black Or White was one of the biggest radio hits of the 1990s. (news.bbc.co.uk) The song includes instruments such as a guitar, possibly electric and bass, drums and even a keyboard. A listener is focused more on the vocals of the song, even though the instrumentals and the words seem to be at the same volume. The tempo of the song is fast, I do believe, to catch the listener's attention.




    As one listens to this song, they will realize that Jackson was expecting his audience to be both white or of color ethnicities. The common problem between many ethnicities is racism. These lyrics describe his opinion on racism and how they have affected him and the world around him. The first lyrics that caught my attention were "They printed my message, In the Saturday Sun, I had to tell them, I ain't second to none." Here he states that he is not no one, that he is a person, with equalities. Next, Jackson wrote " I told about Equality , An It's True, Either You're Wrong or you're right ." In these few lines Jackson is trying to say that everyone has their own opinion on what equality is. If someone has a different opinion on equality, each person is right. Later in the song, Jackson states "I am tired of this devil, I am tired of this stuff, I am tired of this business, So when the going gets rough, I ain't scared of your brother, I ain't Scared of No sheets, I ain't scare of nobody, Girl when the goin' gets mean." Jackson is stating that he is tired of the racism, which is described as a Devil . Also, he states that he is not scared of anyone when things get bad and will not let the racism, that another person has for a different ethnicity, affect him.




    In the song Black Or White, Jackson incorporates a rap. Within this rap he mentions how gangs, clubs and nations are protected for their beliefs even though it's "causing grief in human relations." Racism is a war of races, land or "turf" as Jackson describes it and he would "rather hear both sides" of people's opinions. Michael describes that racism in about "places, faces, where your blood comes from and where your space is". He also states that he's "not going to spend my life being a color." Jackson does not want the label of a different race, he wants people to see him for his artistic abilities. His features changed, and the color of his skin lightened significantly over the last two decades of his life. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson stated, "I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something I cannot help. When people make up stories that I don't like who I am, it hurts me." (cnn.com) Many people question if he had this skin disorder, or if Jackson used a process of chemical peels to change the pigment of his skin.
    One of the last few verses of Jackson's song Black or White, he stated "I said if you're thinking of being my brother, it don't matter if you're back or white." Jackson was a very open minded person and was willing to accept many people. One's race didn’t matter to this man. Through his song Michael Jackson opened up gates from many people to realize that no matter what one's skin to tone is. Everyone one was equal, but if one was racist it was okay because that was their choice as a human being. Even though he has passed away, Jackson's music has been some of the most successful and known work produced by an artist. Some of his words were for entertainment but others were to get a point or belief across to his fans.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 17th 2018 report

    Michael Jackson was an American entertainer that was widely beloved and, one of the most influential artists of all time. Through his career he had "sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." (MichaelJackson.com) On June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson, known as the "King of Pop", passed away. (mtv.com) His death is still a controversy but, it is known that drugs were involved.

    In 1991, described by Jackson's record company as "a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony", Black Or White was one of the biggest radio hits of the 1990s. (news.bbc.co.uk) The song includes instruments such as a guitar, possibly electric and bass, drums and even a keyboard. A listener is focused more on the vocals of the song, even though the instrumentals and the words seem to be at the same volume. The tempo of the song is fast, I do believe, to catch the listener's attention.

    As one listens to this song, they will realize that Jackson was expecting his audience to be both white or of color ethnicities. The common problem between many ethnicities is racism. These lyrics describe his opinion on racism and how they have affected him and the world around him. The first lyrics that caught my attention were "They printed my message, In the Saturday Sun, I had to tell them, I ain't second to none." Here he states that he is not no one, that he is a person, with equalities. Next, Jackson wrote " I told about Equality , An It's True, Either You're Wrong or you're right ." In these few lines Jackson is trying to say that everyone has their own opinion on what equality is. If someone has a different opinion on equality, each person is right. Later in the song, Jackson states "I am tired of this devil, I am tired of this stuff, I am tired of this business, So when the going gets rough, I ain't scared of your brother, I ain't Scared of No sheets, I ain't scare of nobody, Girl when the goin' gets mean." Jackson is stating that he is tired of the racism, which is described as a Devil . Also, he states that he is not scared of anyone when things get bad and will not let the racism, that another person has for a different ethnicity, affect him.

    In the song Black Or White, Jackson incorporates a rap. Within this rap he mentions how gangs, clubs and nations are protected for their beliefs even though it's "causing grief in human relations." Racism is a war of races, land or "turf" as Jackson describes it and he would "rather hear both sides" of people's opinions. Michael describes that racism in about "places, faces, where your blood comes from and where your space is". He also states that he's "not going to spend my life being a color." Jackson does not want the label of a different race, he wants people to see him for his artistic abilities. His features changed, and the color of his skin lightened significantly over the last two decades of his life. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson stated, "I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something I cannot help. When people make up stories that I don't like who I am, it hurts me." (cnn.com) Many people question if he had this skin disorder, or if Jackson used a process of chemical peels to change the pigment of his skin.
    One of the last few verses of Jackson's song Black or White, he stated "I said if you're thinking of being my brother, it don't matter if you're back or white." Jackson was a very open minded person and was willing to accept many people. One's race didn’t matter to this man. Through his song Michael Jackson opened up gates from many people to realize that no matter what one's skin to tone is. Everyone one was equal, but if one was racist it was okay because that was their choice as a human being. Even though he has passed away, Jackson's music has been some of the most successful and known work produced by an artist. Some of his words were for entertainment but others were to get a point or belief across to his fans.

    Grace Dossert

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 22nd 2018 report

    We are all equal. Mic drop

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 26th 2018 report

    Honesly I've seen a lot of people that wrote 'white people are better' and srsly? I mean I'm white, but we're all God's children meaning we're all equal. You can't say one race is better, a gender is better, a sexuality is better. No. People always think the best "person" should weigh less, have blonde hair, white skin, straight, no, no, no, no, no. It doesn't matter if your overweight or black or gay or anything. All that matters is embrace it. Be whoever YOU are. Not someone else.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 15th 2017 report

    This song is about race. Meaning by race it don't matter what color you are black or white..

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 15th 2016 report

    I think this song speaks about people judging others.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 1st 2016 report

    You are wrong. It is not his oppinion on racism and is everybodys RITE to know the truth. What he realy suffered and what black and white realy symbolises.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 29th 2015 report

    The song is basically against making people carbon copy of themselves, it challenges the stereotypical white culture and its perception of people and relationships back in the day, it acknowledges and empathizes the differences … yes we are different but instead of being afraid of our differences we should celebrate them …

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 4th 2015 report

    The songs preaches that racism should not be tollerated but it is from Michael Jackson's unique point of you. Unique because his skin disease forced him - a black skinned man- to turn into a depigmented black man but white audience accused him of trying to become white when he tried to even out the patchy skin with creams because of the vitiligo. He thus experienced a sort of reverse discrimination for "becoming white" but Jackson did not let this nor the disease hold him back. Instead he was to use his transformed skin color as theatrical part of his persona and play with the notion of transformation artistically in his films. In the music video Black or White you see him transcend from a Black Panther to a light skinned man only to eventually sing "it don't matter if you're black or white". He is saying this for the races in the world but he is also speaking on a personal level in that his transformation should not matter, he is still himself- an artist. In the video we then see one thing transforming into another. This reiterates the aspect of himself going through transformation (he starts out dancing in Africa and eventually goes across the world dancing with all races and colors). Both this song and the video displays his reoccurring motif of transformation that take place in his short films and in his music.

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 26th 2014 report

    Obviously it's about racial discrimination, hence "black or white." But Jackson is trying to discourage this, saying it doesn't matter what race/skin color or ethnic background you come from. WORLD PEACE FELLOW HIPPIES!

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 18th 2013 report

    I don't think this song is about race at all. I'm of the opinion that it is entirely about good versus evil.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 18th 2012 report

    Can someone help me interpret these lyrics:


    I Took My Baby
    On A Saturday Bang
    Boy Is That Girl With You
    Yes We're One And The Same

    Now I Believe In Miracles
    And A Miracle
    Has Happened Tonight




    In the first set of verses, I think MJ was referring to himself and someone of another race being seen together by a racist, and was questined by that racist of why they were together, and MJ's answer was "yes were one and the same", meaning, yes we can be together, were one and the same.


    In the second set of verses I'm not too sure of. MJ says "Now I believe in miracles and a miracle has happened tonight". What does he mean by that? Is he saying that his skin being white was a miracle?

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