Remembering Prince through 'Cinnamon Girl'
BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer
With the sad passing of music legend and pop icon Prince, Arab America remembers him in a special way. The 2004 song ‘Cinnamon Girl’ by Prince is not one of his top hits, but one we remember in the Arab American community for the powerful video that went along with the song.
In the music video, a young Muslim girl has just witnessed what seems to be the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and immediately faces bullying and backlash from classmates and her community. At the same time, her parents are scolding her for not dressing more conservatively. Caught between the struggle to fit into the non-Muslim American society, as well as the traditions of her parents, ‘Cinnamon Girl’ makes a video and a bomb, then goes to the airport. She fantacizes about the bomb exploding, but does not do it.
‘Cinnamon Girl’ is Prince’s interpretation of the struggles Arab and Muslim American women faced after 9/11. At the time, Prince sent a message about the difficulties of taking on the blame for the actions of a few Muslims, as well as the pressure society places on women to act a certain way. Although the ending is a tad bizarre, it’s symbolic of the anger and hurt all Americans felt after 9/11 and brings up a discussion about the discrimination Arab and Muslim Americans suffered from after the attacks.