“Why Prince Is a Powerful Example of Artistic Activism”

“Prince himself transcends racial stereotyping because, as he once put it, ‘I never grew up in one particular culture.’ One suspects that as time goes on, more and more American pop will reflect a similarly biracial orientation. If that’s so, Prince’s black-white synthesis isn’t just a picture of what could be, it’s a prophecy.”

From calling out poverty in his lyrics to his support of coding, the legendary artist pushed the world to care about more than music.

“With the sudden, tragic passing of Prince on Thursday, people are taking to social media to reminisce about the many moments when his Purple Badness rocked the world: Prince riding his motorcycle along the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Purple Rain—OK, let’s keep it real: All of Purple Rain. His epic 2007 Super Bowl performance, when it rained while he belted out “Purple Rain.” That time in 1983 when he performed with both Michael Jackson and James Brown (yes, that really happened).

“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent,” President Obama wrote on Facebook, summing up the sentiments of so many.

Yet, along with being a musician, Prince is also being remembered for his social activism.

Back in 1981, The New York Times called Prince “the most controversial contemporary rock star precisely because he challenges sexual and racial stereotypes.” Along with his androgynous appearance, he challenged American complacency with songs against war, poverty, and police brutality and supported an effort to get low-income black and brown youths prepared for the tech jobs of the future…”



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