1114-Pharrell

Producer, musician, and NBC The Voice’s newest judge, Pharrell Williams appeared on the cover of EBONY Magazine and apparently he had plenty to say when it comes to Black women and racism.

Williams had been criticized for not putting any Black woman on his G I R L album cover, but fret not Black women, Pharrell wants you to know that he has love for y’all.

“I love Black women,” says Williams. “If you don’t think I love Black women, then you don’t understand me.” He continues to add, “I have obsessed over Black women since the days of Jayne Kennedy, Beverly Peele and Roshumba Williams. Those are the women I daydreamed about growing up.”

Well now that we’ve got that all cleared up, let’s move on to his thoughts about race. We will recall that Williams made those “new black” statements to Oprah and subsequently took a lot of heat for them. Don’t remember his new black thoughts? He said:

The “new black” doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The “new black” dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.

When asked about race for EBONY, Pharrell had this to say:

“I don’t talk about race since it takes a very open mind to hear my view, because my view is the sky view. But I’m very troubled by what happened in Ferguson, Mo.”

“When things like that happen, we need to be a united cell. We need connective tissue to be linked by spirit and spirituality.”

“For every individual who gets killed, someone should build a school or teach a child. We really need to balance things with positivity.

What? What is the sky view? But more importantly, who is we? Black people? All of America? Why are we balancing things out with positivity and not actual policies that would prevent these killings from even happening? And you know what else we could do? Arrest and prosecute the people who are killing innocent Black people.

Maybe this Kumbaya view of the world is what happens once you reach a certain tax bracket. You can become colorless. And race doesn’t matter. And the only color that is recognized is green. Plus, it’s always tough to get celebrities views on important issues and take them seriously unless they are actually well versed in those issues. For the most part, celebrities remain ignorant on the specifics of an issue just like any average American. I wouldn’t hold my breath for Pharrell to start a cause or join a movement, and he seems to be happy with that.

Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer. Of course, she’s also on Twitter.

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  • MimiLuvs

    “I don’t talk about race since it takes a very open mind to hear my view, because my view is the sky view. But I’m very troubled by what happened in Ferguson, Mo.”

    “When things like that happen, we need to be a united cell. We need connective tissue to be linked by spirit and spirituality.”

    “For every individual who gets killed, someone should build a school or teach a child. We really need to balance things with positivity…”

    My honest, initial reaction after reading this:

    *eye roll*
    This ni**a here…
    *sucks teeth*

    His fame and wealth might help keep that cumulus cloud that is called denial floating around in Pharrell’s head, but all it takes is one wrong move for him and it’s wrap.

    If he doesn’t believe that it is possible, then he needs to have a discussion with The Dixie Chicks. Even with the backing of several high-profiled, Liberal celebrities, they were not able to gain back that same support.

    Here’s the thing: I firmly believe that Pharrell was not a victim of miscommunication, when he made those “new black” comments. I think he sniffed up that Faux News propaganda and is hooked on that sh*t. He is happy that he was able to obtain that full-on, “mainstream success” and now is trying to keep that fanbase.

    Here’s another thing: In regard to the subject of slavery in the United States of America and its residual effects… Slavery lasted for over two-hundred years and the act was abolished in 1845, which is pretty close to the twentieth century… You don’t think that an act like slavery (and the mentality that came along with it) still doesn’t have an effect?!

    ——————————-

    Clutch, I am tempted to get my uber-religious, voodoo grand-aunt to put a curse on your writers, so they can get bird-poop on when they’re wearing their flyest gear, if you don’t fix this system.

    ;)

  • Keith

    ‘The new black’?……wow……..what an idiot. Come up and breath the air with all the other blacks out there you moron.

  • Anthony

    I don’t like the man’s politics, but Pharrell’s attitude has worked for him personally. All I can say is that he is an artist, and creative types do not always have their feet on the ground like other people. Some artists have a vision that deals with social justice, others are more focused on a more personal or abstract vision.

    • Anonin

      Even though I’m an artist I tend to forget that fact so I definitely agree with you, however sometimes artist forget that their vision is not exempt from criticism or debate just because its ‘art’. Theres plenty of art thats promblematic and Pharell’s vision in particular can be harmful.

  • Fatima

    These artists kill me with their vague explanations as to why they don’t date, marry or even include black women on their album covers. Notice how he speaks in PAST tense when he says “I have obsessed over Black women since the days of Jayne Kennedy, Beverly Peele and Roshumba Williams. Those are the women I daydreamed about growing up.”
    He may have obsessed over black women growing up because not as many non-black women were available to black men at the time.
    The best way to handle artists, athletes, etc. that decide to shut black woman out of their lives is hitting them in the pocketbook by not supporting them. I even change the radio station when their music come on.