Pharrell Delivers Powerful Speech on Social Injustice at VH1 ‘Hip Hop Honors’ [WATCH]
On Monday night, VH1 aired its latest Hip Hop Honors special, this time paying tribute to the 1990s. While the event included a number of performances paying homage to the era, there was one moment that had nothing to do with music.
After being announced by Regina Hall, Pharrell Williams came out and delivered a powerful speech about racism, social injustice and where society stands today.
“Everybody at home right now watching this, and acting like ya’ll don’t see what’s going on out there,” Pharrell said. “Ya’ll got to open your eyes. Open your eyes. You keep saying you don’t see what’s going on on television, what’s happening to us. Open your eyes. And if you look like I look, then you know how we got here. But we’re here, and we’re not leaving. So what are we going to do?”
But Pharrell’s speech wasn’t only for Blacks in America. The musician also warned other races that they could be next.
“For everybody else in this country, the human condition is important, “he said. “Don’t think because they’re coming at the African-Americans and the Jewish community and the Hispanics that it can’t be you too just because you look like them.”
He added, “You should understand ’they’ can change their minds and it might not be about Black, white, big, skinny or small. It could be about facial features. It might be about hair color. Don’t act like they didn’t do that before.”
While the artist’s speech may have seemed out of place at the celebration, Pharrell apologized but said “this is where we are right now.”
He continued, “Me, I’m just a tiny tiny tiny tiny little musician. Like little small tiny musician, but Im African American. African means that’s what in me, American means thats where I am right now. So if this is where I am and this is America, it’s for liberty and justice for all.”
Check out Pharrell’s full speech below.
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