She said that he “was so innovative and you didn’t look at him as a Black artist or… an artist of any color. He was just Prince.” Many took offense to that comment because close friends of the pop star knew that he was very proud of being Black.
A close confidant and CNN commentator, Van Jones responded with class when he was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Prince’s transcendence beyond race.
Jones said around the four minute mark:
“We started Yes We Code because of Trayvon Martin,” Jones explained. “Prince said, ‘No, listen. A Black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug; a white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius. Let’s teach the Black kids how to be like Mark Zuckerberg.’ Out of that observation, we built a whole organization.”
The CNN commentator goes on to say that Prince was a fan of pan-African scholar Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Egyptian culture and philosophy and wanted the Black Lives Matter movement to become an economic one.