Category Archives: Radar Opinion

Opinion:Why Are The #Prince Accomplishments Not Acknowledged?

Prince in universe

It is becoming increasingly clear that the accomplishments of Prince are being grossly overlooked or worse, ignored by those in the position of providing him with the recognition he deserves.

montreux

Prince at Montreux

An example of this is, the fact that, despite the fact he has written so many songs over time, (not just Purple Rain), he has not been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Yet,  Jay-Z , who does not have half the catalog of original, succesful and published songs compared to Prince, has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prince has 39 albums with his own original compositions, songs which contain beautiful and meaningful lyrics as well as music which is all composed by Prince. Yet, they ignore him as well as the petition which seeks to have him properly honored. https://www.change.org/p/the-songwriters-hall-of-fame-prince-is-music-induct-prince-into-the-songwriters-hall-of-fame

prince holding guitar 25But it is not just the Songwriters Hall of Fame, there are others, including Barack Obama, who, while president, had the opportunity to bestow the ‘Medal of Freedom’ to Prince, but failed to do so. Prince, by far merited the Medal of Freedom equally with persons such as Ellen Degeneres.  People point to “courage” but fail to note the courage it took for Prince to take a stand against the record industry and it’s treatment of artist. That was his livelihood, yet he not only had the courage to take a stand, he also won the fight! Also, he should have been granted the award based upon his philanthropy, activism, and generosity.  Most of his philanthropic actions were performed with the understanding that they would not be publicized. But, after his passing, when those activities were revealed, the amounts of his generosity remain unsurpassed. (You can find the list here: https://www.change.org/p/designate-prince-rogers-nelson-s-paisley-park-as-a-national-historic-landmark/u/17626949) Clearly, this warranted Prince being awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously.

And then there is the Prince estate. First, it was Bremer, who as administrator for the estate, refused to even meet with the Minnesota Historical Society regarding their attempt to designate Paisley Park and his other properties as a Minnesota Historical sites. And, when contacted by parties who are seeking to make Paisley Park a National Historic Landmark, the response by one of the Bremer reps was: “We’re not marketing it as a Historical Landmark.” Excuse me? Marketing? Seriously? The audacity of that person to use the term “marketing” when approached as to preserving a legacy was not only outrageous, but also unconscionable. Suffice it to say, that, although no longer in charge of the Prince estate, Bremer remains currently embroiled and embattled as to some of the financial choices which were made  during their tenure, but the truth is, that, at no point, did they consider anything which would preserve the legacy of Prince, only that which would earn money.

Then there is Paisley Park, being managed by Graceland Holdings, who only seem to seek to profit from Prince’s legacy, but not to actually preserve Paisley Park.

paisley park 7

Paisley Park

Lastly, there are the heirs, who, instead of trying to bolster and preserve the legacy of their brother, appear to be attempting to create a legacy of their own, based solely upon their relationship to Prince via the music industry and/or covering Prince songs. And yet, they do not have the time to invest in even discussions with those attempting to preserve his legacy via lobbying ‘Kennedy Honors’, Songwriters Hall of Fame’ or those who are attempting to have Paisley Park and other sites  designated as historical landmarks, hence preserving one of his greatest legacies! They appear to only want to increase their personal bottom line and if they will obtain no money, then they have zero interest. We also now know that the alleged shady deals made during the Bremer tenure were, (if not directly), approved to move forward via lack of opposition.  Paisley Park, has always paid for itself, and can continue to do so, if indeed, there is the Prince new 2appropriate and qualified attention to detail and respect that Prince and his fans deserve. After all, Paisley Park is indeed within the hearts of his fans, and it is the fans of Prince who supported him throughout his career who actually paid for Paisley Park.

Yet of course, hats off and much respect to those who are actually attempting to preserve and protect the legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson who warrant mentions such as: PRNAlumni who are focusing on the continuation of Prince’s awesome charitable work;  @PurpleLegacy who continue to persist in their efforts to have Paisley Park designated as a National Historic Landmark; The Minnesota Historical Society, working to name Paisley Park as a Minnesota Historical site; the Prince watchdog group, PurpleOutcry.org, who work tirelessly to make certain that Prince’s legacy retains the respect it deserves,as well as protect that legacy; the Department of the Interior under the Obama administration who worked with Minnesota Historical society; and most of all to the fans of Prince, a really super-smart and loyal group of people who stand as gatekeepers to the memory and legacy of Prince.

So the question remains: Why are the accomplishments of Prince not acknowledged? The question itself is as perplexing as the lack of answers appear to be.

Prince at NPG festival 2011

Prince 2011 at NPG Festival

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Radar Recommends: “Hidden Figures”

Image result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figures

If one wants to observe a portion of the history of African-American women during the 1960’s , then this film is mandatory for students of true history.  These three brilliant women made remarkable contributions to NASA’s space program, but they also paid the price of not only being women in a field which women were routinely kept out, but the double whammy of also being African-American women who were also smart. They were slighted, insulted,and even ignored, but their brilliance, like cream rising to the top, made their participation  and presence, required and unmatched. But yet, history tried to ‘hide‘ them.

During that time, women were forced to wear ‘costumes’ which addressed dress length, (no pants), jewelry, etc.  And in those days, women went along with it – because, after all, what choice did they have?  But it was far worse for the African-American women, for, due to the Jim Crow laws in effect, they could not even use the same facilities as the White women. And, unfortunately, many girls, of all races, were disabused of any desire to pursue a vocation which required intense mathematical skills.

MaImage result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figuresry Jackson ,Katherine Johnson, and  Dorothy Vaughan were hired as ‘human computers’ and pre-dated actual computers, with the first computer being the huge IBM ‘machine’. Katherine Johnson, a childhood mathematical genius, successfully calculated the difficult trajectory calculations which contributed to launching a man into space and returning him safely back to earth. Mary Jackson was an engineer for the space program, who had to fight for the job  and its title, even though she was doing the work. Dorothy Vaughan, also a brilliant mathematician,  hired as a human computer, eventually mastered IBM and programming it, and became a computer programming expert, as well as supervising the NASA computer unit.

In November 2015, Johnson was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The following Image result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figuresMay, NASA opened the new $30 million, 40,000-square-foot Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility at Langley.             Related image

These women are heroes and role models for all the young girls out there who choose to work in fields which require mathematical skills, and, for women of color, who can be assured that their skill will speak for them.  The women are  excellently presented in this film, and their story will give you chills and you will find yourself cheering for them, yet also crying with them, but ultimately, celebrating their victories.

https://www.biography.com/people/dorothy-johnson-vaughan-111416

https://www.biography.com/people/mary-winston-jackson-120616

https://www.biography.com/people/katherine-g-johnson-101016

http://abdopublishing.com/shop/show/9454

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/computational-facility-named-in-tribute-to-nasa-langley-math-master-katherine-johnson

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