Friday, January 1, 2010


Installed in the Mom Again Hall of Fame on January 1, 2010

Born: May 4, 1930

Just shy of her 80th birthday, she became a Mom Again. Under the most tragic of circumstances, the death by homicide of her much maligned but undeniably talented and loved 5th son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Katherine Esther Jackson was granted permanent legal custody of his children: Prince Michael Joseph I (12), Paris Michael Katherine (11), and Prince Michael II, aka Blanket (7).

She had given birth to ten of her own children and raised all but one to splendid adulthood. As the mother of the famous 1970s singing group The Jackson Five, Katherine Jackson has been a public, if very private, figure for much of her adult life. Husband Joseph Jackson may have believed in the dream of stardom for his children, but Katherine seemed at times unprepared for the sudden change from struggling working-class family to Hollywood celebrity. Through all the fame and the misfortunes, she has been an unceasing defender of her family, even when claims of abuse by Michael and daughter LaToya sullied the image of the all-American success story family. One might think she deserved, at 79, to sit back and let someone else (in the family) do the heavy lifting. But Katherine Jackson did not hesitate to make known her wish to become a Mom Again.

Though she is surrounded by her progeny and is financially comfortable, Mrs. Jackson by all accounts is a "hands-on" Mom Again. The website TMZ caught her on camera at a Target store days after her son's death, shopping for sleeping bags and toys. She takes the children to her Kingdom Hall once a week, planning to raise them as Jehovah’s Witnesses as she did her own children. She is looking into sending the children to school for the first time in their lives (they had been homeschooled), thereby making the kinds of decisions and inquiries all parents must make to ensure their children are well educated. Through her legal representatives, she is seeking some level of control or at least awareness of Michael Jackson’s financial legacy, all for the protection of the three already motherless children he left behind.

As the mother of the famous, and now infamously killed King of Pop, Katherine Jackson and the children will be under a spotlight for the rest of their lives. Those of us who face being parents to young children at an older age know what challenges they all face. We honor her life and her commitment to her children and her children's children as our first Inductee to the Mom Again Hall of Fame.



Jackson, Katherine and Richard Wiseman, My Family, the Jacksons, St. Martins, 1990.

NNDB, Tracking the Entire World


Katherine and Joe Jackson, a Unique Team

Katherine Jackson Finally Able to Grieve


Johnson, Robert E. Exclusive Interview: Katherine Jackson Says, ‘Don’t Believe Any of La Toya’s Lies.’ Jet; Oct. 21, 1991: 81, 1; page. 58

“We are just a plain family. We don’t claim to be big shots. We are just down-to-earth people.”

Murphy, Carla. “A few million US grandmas know what’s ahead for Katherine Jackson.” The Christian Science Monitor. Boston, MA.: Julu 8, 2009, pg. 2

“Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, raised nine children, but the last came of legal age when she was 54. Raising her late son's three children, ages 7 to 12, now, at age 79, would be another challenge unto itself, and it's one that nearly 3 million American families tackle - although they're not necessarily the families you might think they are.”

“One big happy family.” People Weekly. Feb. 28, 1994, vol. 41. iss. 8, pg. 62.

“In 1980, with children Randy and Janet, Katherine marched into Joe's office, grabbed his assistant, Gina Sprague--whom they believed was also his lover--and according to a police report filed by Sprague, Kate announced, "Bitch, you better leave my husband alone!" She then beat Sprague, who was later treated at a local hospital.”

McCann, John. “Just how old is too old for caring?” Herald Sun. durham, NC. Aug. 14, 2009, pg. C4.

“Weeks ago, before the late Michael Jackson's mother gained custody of his children, Beverly Gibbs was on her Thursday-morning radio show on 1410 AM WRJD dismissing the notion that grandmothers like Katherine Jackson, 79, are too old to raise kids.”

Giddings, paula. “Katherine jackson.” Essence v. 21 (December 1990), p. 38.

“Katherine Jackson describes both the highs and lows that accompanied her children's success, including her husband's infidelity, conflicts with Motown, and the persistent rumors that plague her son Michael.”


The Jacksons: An American Dream.