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Journal of African American Studies published free issue completely focused on Prince

Journal of African American Studies, Volume 21, Issue 3, September 2017. Special Issue on Prince (free to read online – PDF download of all articles in this issue also free)
“The primary responsibility of the scholar is to put in historical, political, and social context that which has not only shaped our thinking about people, places, things, and events, but give meaning to them. For nearly 40 years, Prince was a mainstay in the world of music and pop culture, but there was more to Prince than just music. For Prince, music was a vessel through which he urged listeners to think about matters such as masculinity, spirituality, politics, racial and gender equality, gang violence, sexuality, poverty, disease, and identity. It was not surprising then that when reports of Prince’s death were broadcast on April 21, 2016, the world mourned. Tributes of varying kind were posted all over social media; city halls, bridges, buildings, and skylines around the world were lit up in purple; fans flocked to and gathered outside his residence in Chanhassen, a Minneapolis suburb; scores of artists paid homage to Prince by covering his songs in concerts; even multinational corporations such as Chevrolet got in on the act with a moving, and yet subtle 30-second tribute to the icon’s 1982 hit Little Red Corvette. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, Prince appeared on the cover of countless magazines. It seemed that tributes poured in from every industry imaginable, with the exception of academia…It is our hope that this special issue will inspire readers to access previously untapped reservoirs of creativity, help reorient the thinking of those who endeavor to pursue similar ventures that place Prince at the center of analysis, as well as prompt scholars to devise nuanced and unconventional ways to probe, study, and analyze an artist whose persona and life’s work defied convention…”

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