Thank You, Prince

When I left St. Paul for Northwestern University, the only thing almost every black person knew about Minnesota was Prince. As in "Purple Rain", the artist formerly known as a symbol and the coolest cat to come out of the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis is about 20% African-American and St. Paul about 16%. The Twin Cities used to be among the top cities in the U.S. for biracial people. But black people from other parts of the country don't know all that. They assume Minnesota is lily white. Maybe it's the Scandanavian accent.

But Prince was cool and sexy. He gave being from Minnesota a little cred. Not quite swagger but at least I had a fighting chance to earn my place in the community. Sure, I got teased for how I pronounce my home state but I code shifted the hell out of everything else and found my way in the community.

From one mixed kid to another, thank you, Prince.

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