Political activist and former Obama administration advisor Van Jones knew Prince well, working with The Purple One behind-the-scenes on actions that supported various social justice causes. A visibly emotional Jones detailed that activism to CNN’s Don Lemon during an interview the night of Prince’s passing.
“There are people who have solar panels on their houses right now in Oakland, California, that they don’t know Prince paid for them,” Jones told Lemon on Thursday (April 21), hours after Prince’s death was confirmed. Jones further described his friend’s support for initiatives and programs like “Green For All” and “#YesWeCode“—support that the famously private Prince didn’t often address in public. He also described Prince’s more-visible support for anti-police brutality activism in Chicago and Baltimore via benefit concerts.
Jones fought back tears while describing the guilt he felt immeadately following Prince’s death before talking more about his friend’s support of others. “Like I said, he was there for us when we were down,” he said. “And I know that we’re not supposed to talk about it…but he pushed all of us to do more and we all did more. And I want him to be known for that, too.”
Check out the full video above, sourced and published to YouTube via Daily Kos, and read more of Van’s thoughts about Prince at CNN.com.