Prince’s Continuing Legacy: Avoiding False Dichotomies
How do you thank someone you never met and who is loved by millions for impacting your life and creating change by just existing? For me, you do it through living your truth even more fully.
I hear that often — live your truth — pop culture likes these phrases…but what do they mean? When someone like Prince comes along who does just that, the dominant culture will heckle and laugh — this same culture that throws around profound phrases like live your truth as if it means it. And what does someone like Prince do…keep living out his truth, his spiritual blueprint, what he came here to do. It was this that moved me so profoundly when I first heard him on the radio at 11 years old. It was the first time my sister and I were living in the United States with my father
My parents divorced when I was three and my mother, sister and I moved to live in a small village in Mexico when I was eight. We had been living in this small village for the past three years and on a summer visit to Southern California, my sister decides she wants to stay and live with my dad. Being the eldest she always spoke for the two of us. So here we were, in a completely different planet with a father who was raised with strong roots in his Quechua culture and with the immigrant mantra that most come with: Venimos por ti hijita, para que seas profesional…We came for you my daughter, so that you will become a professional…in other words, we don’t need you to deviate from the path of what it means to be successful in the United States: get a good education and a good career. Even at 11, I could dig what my dad was saying…and still, there was a quiet itch just under my belly button that desired attention and wanted me to break out…I had no idea what it was calling me to do and could just barely feel it anyway. I just knew that everytime something with a completely different energy showed up in my life — like when I first heard Run DMC, The Real Roxanne and saw my friend breakdance on the dirt streets of our Mexican Village — it was magical and called me to it…but that’s another story.
My parents were also huge proponents of living out your truth. My dad left Bolivia as a young man — even though by doing this he was never to see his mother alive again — and ended up working with Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers. Still today he organizes indigenous…