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The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Friday, April 23 • 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Prince: Disrupting Notions of Blackness (Room A: Sky Church)

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Room A: Sky Church

Prince: Disrupting Notions of Blackness

Prince’s legacy as a Pop music icon is undisputed. His influence on popular culture is endless. In addition to being one of the greatest entertainers of all time, he was a groundbreaking songwriter, musician, arranger, composer, producer, and entrepreneur. Prince was also the ultimate disruptor. In a career that spanned five decades, Prince challenged systems, spaces, and sounds. In the process, he disrupted widely held notions about what it meant to be a black artist, activist, and, ultimately, a black person in a society that remains at odds with its own concepts of blackness, freedom, and equality. Through analysis of his music, lyrics, and individual acts of protest, this panel seeks to expand the discussion of Prince’s legacy by examining his role as a disruptor.

The paper order will be: Duff, Cummings, McInnis

Moderators
avatar for Michaelangelo Matos

Michaelangelo Matos

Michaelangelo Matos is the author of Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year (Hachette, 2020) and The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (Dey Street, 2015) and contributes to The New Yorker. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Speakers
avatar for De Angela L. Duff

De Angela L. Duff

Associate Vice Provost & Industry Professor, NYU
Controversy: The Blueprint of Prince’s Musical Transformation and DisruptionIn the 15 November 1981 Baltimore Sun article, "Whites Are Missing Good Rock By Blacks," Geoffrey Himes proclaimed, "As young and talented as Prince is, he has a better opportunity to demolish the rules... Read More →
avatar for Kamilah Cummings

Kamilah Cummings

Editor. Writer. Educator.
Purple, Lace, & Race: Prince and the Art of Protest In many ways, Prince’s entire career was a disruption. Although his contributions to racial discourse in the public sphere are often overlooked, from his music and films to his ever-evolving performance of identity, Prince artfully... Read More →
avatar for C Liegh McInnis

C Liegh McInnis

Poet and Short Story Writer, Psychedelic Literature
The Art of Double Disruption: How Prince Worked in the Tradition of Jean Toomer and Richard Wright to Rebel Simultaneously against White Supremacy and Black Self-LimitationIn 1944, Harper and Brothers accepted Richard Wright's autobiography, American Hunger, for publication that fall... Read More →


Friday April 23, 2021 1:00pm - 2:15pm PDT
Room A: Sky Church