Pharrell Williams, Kenya Barris developing Juneteenth stage musical

Pharrell Williams. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Frank Schwichtenberg

June 19 (UPI) — Producer and singer Pharrell Williams is collaborating with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris on a new stage musical about holiday Juneteenth.

Juneteenth marks the day that U.S. Army ships forced Texas landowners to free the last of their slaves. The Season 4 premiere of “Black-ish” explored the holiday with a musical episode.

Barris is writing the libretto with his “Black-ish” partner Peter Saji who is also producing. Williams is composing the music and lyrics under his company I Am Other with his partner Mimi Valdes.

Plot details concerning the musical remain unknown, however, the project will feature one modern-day African-American family and one who lived during the Civil War.

“The acknowledgement and celebration of Juneteenth as an American and possibly international holiday is something that I would put in the life goals column for me,” Barris said in a statement. “For Peter and me to be able to team up with Pharrell on such an important project like this is something that neither of us in a billion years would have thought possible.”

“I dream about projects like this. Kenya and Peter are geniuses and Juneteenth will change culture and change history. We couldn’t sign up fast enough. We are thrilled to collaborate with them,” Williams said.


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