Today artist and songwriter Pharrell Williams supported Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, at a press conference according to Rolling Stone. The multi-talented producer and Northam sought to make Juneteenth, the day commemorating the abolition of slavery an officially recognized state holiday.
Williams is a Virginia Beach native and is known to speak up in political matters as seen in his 2016 presidential endorsement of Hillary Clinton and his sending a cease and desist to Donald Trump for playing his music.
Some may believe that the United States slaves received their freedom when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but plenty was still enslaved until 1865 when everyone was officially freed, and the fighting stopped.
“Every year, as a nation, we mark the Fourth of July, Independence Day, celebrating our independence from English colonial rule. But that freedom we celebrate did not include everyone.” Gov. Northam stated, ”It’s time we elevate, not just a celebration by and for some Virginians, but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us because that’s how important this event is.”
Williams is hoping his speaking up in favor will encourage other states to take similar action: “This is our chance to lead, to truly embrace the importance of Juneteenth and treat it as a celebration of freedom that Black people deserve,” Williams said. “This is about proper recognition, it’s about observation, and it’s about celebration. This is a chance for our government, our corporations, and our citizens to all stand in solidarity with their African-American brothers and sisters.”
Source: Rolling Stone