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Dear Prince:

Thank you for so many things.

For being the pop-culture bookend of my life, opposite Michael Jackson.

For displaying your flamboyant masculinity that operated in wild, electric opposition to the stoic, colorless, emotion-stripped version I was sold in school and social life.

For your lush, full-band sound and music gifts that were the soundtrack to my childhood: 1999, When You Were Mine, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Purple Rain, Sign O’The Times, Diamonds & Pearls, Kiss, and Nothing Compares 2 You.

For not being too annoyed or embarrassed to show up to those award shows where the greater Black community claimed you so desperately, it must have chafed. Or, one might say, for your grace.

For showing us how to reclaim your Self when corporations tried to own you beyond what was appropriate or possible.

Finally, it was your image I recognized when I noticed a comic on the wooden, window-side shelf at Carla’s Book Shop in Neptune City, NJ. Strongbow, the character created by Wendy Pini, resembled Prince but behaved like Clint Eastwood, and he drew me into one of my great loves –Elfquest in particular, comic books in general.

Lastly, thank you for purple. I vote we, in the U.S., rename that color for you. ROY G BIP for evah.


Red orange yellow green blue indigo PRINCE