Williams has been heavily involved in the advocacy towards making Juneteenth a paid holiday across his state of Virginia. “It’s a critical cause because our ancestors. . . their lives were given; they gave their lives, they gave their flesh, they gave their minds, and there wasn’t much acknowledgment,” he says. “We never really had our independence day like we should’ve. When July 4, 1776 happened, it was only really our white brothers that were free. Their wives were not free; they couldn’t vote. Africans could not vote [. . .]”
Williams continues: “Juneteenth is an American celebration [. . .] We built the room, but we have to ask ourselves who actually did the labor and consider those [. . .] This should be a paid holiday, respectively, not only for this country on a federal level, but for all nations [. . .] It’s the human, right thing to do.”
With that in mind, Pharrell Williams decided to pick up the phone and call his local Virginia state governor. He told his representative that a holiday induction is important not only to his own legacy, but to the state’s legacy, as well. The governor promised to pass a bill through legislation as soon as possible.