Pharrell Williams Joins Charleston’s Emanuel AME For Sunday Service

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Pharrell Williams paid a visit to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. to spread his positivity and to perform for the churchgoers last Sunday (Nov. 1).

The predominately black church is one of the locations for an upcoming televised event, “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America.” Williams, who recently released a children’s book based on his hit song “Happy,” sang his latest song “Freedom” with the church’s congregation.

The special follows a larger concert event, “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America.” It will be broadcast internationally Nov. 21 on A+E and its network affiliates, and will attempt to raise awareness and address race issues in the U.S. The concert, set to be filmed at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, will feature performances from Tori Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Ed Sheeran and Pink, reports The Wrap. “Conversations” will feature musicians and prominent public figures visiting several locations where incidents of racial tension have taken place.

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“By shining a light on the uncomfortable truth that racial inequity and bias still impact our society, we are looking to inspire people to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures,” A+E Networks President Nancy Dubuc said in a statement for the event.

The South Carolina church was in the news this past June after Dylan Roof, a white male, shot and killed nine people, including the senior pastor Clementa Pinckney, at the church during Bible study. Roof, 21, is being indicted on federal hate crime charges. The massacre added to the ongoing discussion of race and racism in America, which has been one of the hot button topics for the year.