Kenya Barris and Pharrell Williams are putting their heads together to put on for their people in an exciting new project. In an announcement fitting for today (June 19), the two creatives are confirmed to be collaborating on a forthcoming stage musical about Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the final day of slavery in the United States in 1865.
According to Deadline, Barris will handle script writing duties with Peter Saji, a co-producer and his Black-ish counterpart, and Pharrell will write and compose the music. Pharrell and Mimi Valdés will also produce underneath Williams’ i am OTHER company.
The Juneteenth idea is an expansion of the 2017 Black-ish episode of the same name, in which The Roots provided a Schoolhouse Rock-esque history lesson on slavery. While the official plot is TBD at this point—aside from the fact that the play will juxtapose two families (one from the Civil War era and one from modern times)—the team is pretty excited about what they have cooking in the vault.
“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. For us, this project isn’t about numbers; it’s about humanity. Slavery is America’s recessive gene and it’s time we all dealt with it and what better way to have an audience swallow this dose of medicine than with amazing music and raw, honest, jaw dropping comedy?”
We’ll be on the lookout for more details, but in the meanwhile, check out a snippet from the “Juneteenth” episode of Black-ish.