Moving to California was a huge massive culture shock for the Jackson family.
In the new documentary “Janet Jackson”, the singer and her brother Randy Jackson open up about their family’s move to the West Coast in the ’70s and their encounters with other celebrities.
“We had three acres, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a badminton court. We used to have parties all the time, all the entertainers would be there,” Janet remembers, according to TooFab, listing off famous names like Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross.
“I remember one of the parties that we had, [David Bowie] came and I guess to get away from everyone he was looking for a little room,” Janet continues.
Randy picks up the story, recalling, “Michael [Jackson] and I are sitting in one of the other rooms away from the party. Bowie walks in and he offered us some of what he was doing to get high. We just looked at each other like, no, we didn’t no what it was. ‘No thank you!'”
Moving to Encino, Calif., the Jacksons were also the first Black people in their neighbourhood, which came with its own challenges they explain.
“They had this petition going around, so that we wouldn’t be in the neighbourhood,” Janet says.
“I remember walking down the street and being called the N-word, someone driving by, yelling it out, be told to go back home to your country,” she adds. “Feeling it at school with some of the teachers and some of the kids, touching your hair because your hair was different from theirs. Or your skin, rubbing it. ‘Does that come off?’ ‘No, does yours.’ I didn’t have a lot of friends. I had a couple. But my closest were my brothers and sisters.”
The two-part documentary “Janet Jackson” premieres Friday and Saturday night.