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Pharrell Says Slavery Was “Far From A Choice” In Spotify’s “Black History Is Happening Now” Campaign

There’s no denying it, “this country was built by the hands of many different cultures, but mainly the African Americans,” says Pharrell Williams.

On Tuesday, the Grammy Award-winner appeared in the latest installment of Spotify’s “Black History Is Happening Now” campaign, where he shared his poignant thoughts on the significant contributions made by slaves.

“They were the ones that were put to task to go out and actually do the work. And all the while having to endure the pillaging of where they were from, identities taken from, and forced to do things that they didn’t want to do. Far from a choice,” he said. “Our influence is everywhere. In clothing, music. You know, there would be no rock and roll without us. Like, we’ve been here. Black now is America. Black future is America. Black history is America.”

In a separate clip titled, “A Very Serious Force,” Williams opened up on the importance and the impact of black women throughout history.

“I think that what’s going to save, not only this country but also save the world is, the Gen-Zers, the millennials, and the women,” Williams said. “There are cities that are still erected from the hands of slave labor, along with that labor all of those slaves, they came through the conduit of an African American or an African diaspora, through the conduit of their body — those women. And they had to watch what those souls were connected to, what they had to endure. That’s what one of the many notions that make black women important to our existence.”

Spotify’s “Black History Is Happening Now,” which is in partnership with creative collective, “Saturday Morning,” aims to highlight black artists, creatives, and organizations through videos, podcasts, and music curation. In addition to “Black History Is Happening Now,” the streaming music platform will also help support and fund up-and-coming female podcasters of color through its “Sound Up Bootcamp” initiative.

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