Monday, May 2, 2016

Prince Gets a Second Line Parade in New Orleans; Chauncey DeVega Talks About the Great Purple One on Louisville Public Radio's 'Strange Fruit'

As is my habit, sharing a great find courtesy of friend of the podcast Ned Sublette (if you have not heard his great episode where we discuss The American Slave Coast do yourself a favor and seek it out).

Prince left us a week or so ago. The good people of New Orleans honored him with a second line parade. Prince would have appreciated this:
A pair of white draft horses pulled a purple-draped casket atop a caisson, with a cluster of grape-like purple balloons bobbing above. It was the symbolic centerpiece of the "Purple Rain Day" second line parade that took place in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans on Monday (April 25) in memory of pop superstar Prince, who died Thursday.  
The turnout for the tribute was spectacular, with thousands of fans gathering on Orleans Avenue outside of the Oo Poo Pah Doo Bar before the parade. Barbecue smoke wafted through the evening air, mixing with the sensual rhythm of Prince's song "Little Red Corvette" that blasted from a mobile PA system.  
Celebrants danced, drank and found friends in the crowd. Someone completely unfamiliar with the 1980s icon would have immediately surmised the late singer's signature color, from the feather boas, wigs, hats and other accoutrement. Even the flashing roof light atop the hearse that led the parade was tinted purple...
I also had a chance to go on Louisville public radio's "Strange Fruit" show to discuss my recent essay at Salon on Prince, the "Cult of the Black Weirdo", and black masculinity. I think I did well but could have fleshed out their question about the trickster figure with a direct reference to the many names that Prince went by.

Interesting happenings to start the week? Items we should be keeping our eyes open for?

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