Before his tragic death some months later, Michael Jackson performed a special tribute song for Sammy Davis Jr. "You Were There". During his 60th anniversary concert.
The message as I saw it was, despite the prejudice and discrimination, Sammy kept right on going. Self-determined, never looking back, he strove to be somebody despite his odds. Today he is known as one of the forefathers to breaking traditional barriers between black entertainers and the mainstream industry. May I present to you Michael's dedication to one of his idols.
You were there, before we came.
You took the hurt, you took the shame.
They built the walls to block your way.
You beat them down.
You won the day.
[ Lyrics found at www.mp3lyrics.org/8eGr ]
It wasn't right, it wasn't fair.
You taught them all.
You made them care.
Yes, you were there, and thanks to you
There's now a door we all walk through.
And we are here, for all to see --
To be the best that we can be.
Yes, I am here....
Because you were there.
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