1993 was just over 20 years ago. It was exactly one year after the race riots in Los Angeles that erupted after another case of brutal police mistreatment.
1993 was also the year that the R&B girl-group En Vogue took the VMAs by storm, scooping up three awards for their “Free Your Mind” video.
The aggressive, liberal-minded video takes on racial and sexist prejudices with unapologetic strength, and the entertainment world sat up and took notice. “Free your mind and the rest will follow / be colorblind, don’t be so shallow,” goes the chorus.
At this point we’re dealing with more than just shallow attitudes but then again, all of this violence and injustice begins with misguided thought processes.
The video for “Free Your Mind” dealt with a lot of the same frustrations and tensions that we’ve seen played out this week in regards to Ferguson. Watching Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis of En Vogue walk the runaway with fierce determination and no apologies for what they wear or how they look, act or feel is a balm of its own.
That year, En Vogue were nominated for eight VMAs (and two Grammys!) and won the VMAs for Best R&B Dance Video, Best Dance Choreography and Best R&B video. Take a look below to see why.
Who will take home the VMA in those categories this year?