Feature: Writer Prince Shakur
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Prince Shakur is a queer, Jamaican-American writer and New York Times recognized organizer based out of Columbus, OH. His writings on queer representation in film, police/prison systems, conscious travel, and demystifying the hardships of black, radical life have appeared in Teen Vogue, AfroPunk, Vice, Catapult, CodaStory, and more.
One of his most notable essays of 2020 titled “INSERT TITLE” where he explores the socio-political legacy of Bob Marley with his granddaughter, Zuri Marley, and unpacks the implications of Afro-solidarity during BLM protests.
His work exists at the intersections of immigration, queerness, Afro-pessimism, and cultural explorations of black, political icons. His other media-work has been critically recognized; his video project, Two Woke Minds, earned the 2017 Rising Star Grant from GLAAD and his joint audio-installation, Nocturne, was a part of the After Stonewall exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art.
In terms of praxis, Shakur is a deep believer that empowering marginalized people to tell their own stories in all forms is both a political process and radical archiving.
When asked about what his work means to him, Prince shares the following:
"Honestly, my work has saved me and helped me process the world. My journal was how my mother found out that I was gay. Writing helped me condense all of my worries as a teenager."
"Being black and queer and radical and finding my voice through writing has been a kind of rebirth. Much of my work is heavy and painful, but in facing the pain, I can be more honest about the joys in my life."
"To be frank, my work has also been a vehicle taking me to far off places, like the Philippines, Mexico, South Korea, India.
"My work has taught me that our beliefs about what we want for our lives matter and make those dreams more possible."
Back in 2018, Shakur wrote an article entitled "Who Loved Gay Black Boys Before Moonlight?" and examines the meaning of a film that depicts sensitive gay black men and the long history of misrepresentation that it remedies.
Be sure to read his piece at the link up above and follow him on his website and on Instagram to support his work (@sweetblackprince)!
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