Pharrell Williams is helping to honor an important holiday.
The 47-year-old “Happy” entertainer joined Virginia Governor Ralph Northam at a press conference on Tuesday (June 16) to announce that June 19 will be officially recognized as Juneteenth in Virginia.
Juneteenth is observed to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.
“From this moment on, when you look at the vastness of the night sky, and you see those stars moving up there, know that those stars are our African ancestors dancing. They’re dancing in celebration because their lives are finally being acknowledged,” Pharrell said.
“This is our chance to lead by example. 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…this is about proper recognition. This is the chance for our government, our corporations and our citizens to all stand in solidarity with their African-American brothers and sisters.”
“I would like to see corporations that call Virginia their home give people the paid day off,” he added.
“There is no turning back. We are only moving one direction now: forward.”
All state employees in the executive branch will be given a paid day off on Juneteenth, according to the Governor. Many major companies, including Twitter, Nike and the NFL, announced that Juneteenth will be recognized as a company holiday.
Find out what Twitter said about the holiday.
Watch Pharrell Williams speak…
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