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Prince showed black kids it was OK to be who they wanted to be




montreux, SWITZERLAND: US pop maverick Prince performs early 17 July 2007 during a jam session after his sold out concert at the 41th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Prince's new album
montreux, SWITZERLAND: US pop maverick Prince performs early 17 July 2007 during a jam session after his sold out concert at the 41th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Prince's new album "Planet Earth" is due to go on sale next week. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

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Music in the Eighties mostly fell into two camps - black or white. Yet the Purple One, Prince, blurred all kinds of lines: with his music, his sexuality ... and race. 

Marc Bernardin is a film editor at the LA Times. On the day Prince died, he wrote a personal essay about how he, as an African-American teenager growing up in the 1980s , was impacted by Prince's music and his look. 

He writes,"What David Bowie was to white kids who didn't fit in, Prince was to black kids. He gave young African Americans growing up in Harlem or St. Louis or Watts the license to be who they wanted to be, not what society thought they should be."

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