As the world mourns the untimely death of Prince, we all can reflect on his life, music, and artistry.
Many of us grew up with “Let’s Go Crazy,” or turned a devilish smile with “Darling Nikki.’ Yet there are lessons to be learned about social justice from such a dynamic icon as Prince Rogers Nelson.
Aside from the Grammy’s, Hall of Fame and endless awards, he was truly a champion of social justice. Prince fought for artists and their right to produce and control distribution of music. He refused to be bullied, as noted when he changed his name to “the artist formerly known as Prince.” Prince may have been a little guy from Minneapolis, yet large in encouraging under represented populations to make control of their environment. When his visited Baltimore, Maryland just after the death of Freddie Gray, he encouraged young people to build restaurants and hotels, to take control of their environment. This is a markedly different approach contrasted to rioting and fighting. Economic social justice instead was his message.
While he is gone far too soon, Prince was not just a model and iconic artist; he was a true humanitarian who modeled social justice.
He would not be subject to large conglomerate or intruding fans bullying him. He maintained dignity while quietly fighting for the dignity and rights of fellow artists.
So the next time we think of that “Little Red Corvette,” or reflect on “Diamonds and Pearls,” remember the lessons from the Purple Rain. Standing up against bullying and aggression makes a difference. Speaking out instead of being a passive bystander is at the root of social justice. Doing so with kindness makes his time with us indelible to fans regardless of age, race, or national origin. R.I.P. Prince.
Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.
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