“Albums still matter,” Prince said on national television during the 2015 Grammys. “Like books and Black lives, albums still matter. Tonight and always.”
Those words were just a glimpse into Prince’s personal investments into the future of black youth and social activism, both spiritually and financially. After news broke that the Purple One had passed away in his Minnesota residence, personal stories about his began to surface. A particularly revealing anecdote came from Rev. Al Sharpton.
According to New York Daily News, Prince reached out to Sharpton after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida to offer support to his family.
“I will never forget when he called me and said he had some funds he wanted to give to Trayvon Martin’s family,” Sharpton said. “Just out of the blue. Just out of the clear blue.”
“He didn’t want anybody to know,” Sharpton continued. “He didn’t even want Trayvon Martin’s family to know where the funds came from.”
This apparently wasn’t a one-time deal either. Prince continued to reach out to Sharpton to anonymously support other causes after Martin’s death, including arranging for Eric Garner’s family to attend his concert in Baltimore. That concert was his first in Baltimore since 2001, according to the Baltimore Sun, and was part of a peace rally held after Freddie Gray died in police custody.
“He didn’t want to get involved in partisan politics. He was very concerned about human rights,” Sharpton said. “We spent hours talking about his concerns about technology and getting those skills to inner city youth.”
“There is no way to measure how much he will be missed. We’ll never have another Prince. Millions of people of all races and backgrounds are saddened today with the sudden loss of a true Prince who was a really king.”
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