I read more articles about Michael Jackson and race today than I can remember.
It all reminds me of my first firm memory of really knowing who Michael Jackson was - I was watching The Wiz, and I could not understand why my mom kept telling me that the Scarecrow was played by Michael Jackson, when that clearly was NOT the Michael Jackson I was familiar with. I think that was probably the first conversation about race, gender, and cosmetic surgery that my mother and I ever had.
I think that's a pretty good legacy.
A few years ago, my brother went through a MJ phase. I remember him asking, "Let me get this straight: a skin condition caused his skin color to change, but personal choice caused him to look like a woman? ...Got it." I guess we learned a lot from Michael Jackson in the Elliott household.