VIDEO: Kenya Barris Discusses the Juneteenth Musical He Wrote with Pharrell on THE TONIGHT SHOW

By: Jun. 24, 2020
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Kenya Barris, the creator of black-ish, was a guest on Tuesday night's episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! Barris was there to talk about bringing the Juneteenth musical he created with Pharrell to Netflix and to break down why Juneteenth should be considered the true day of independence.

Barris explained how the musical came to be saying, "Pharrell and I sold a play, along with one of the writers who we wrote "Juneteenth" with, this guy Peter Saji. But we sold a play." He continued, "Juneteenth, to me, was one of my personal things. I feel like I wanted to make that a national holiday. I wanted to help make that a national holiday and I feel like, you know, the notion of people understanding that slavery is the recessive scar that all of us -- Black, white, whatever, you know what I'm saying? Asian, Latinx -- like we all, as Americans, it's the thing that we all share. There's never been an apology for slavery. So, there's never been anything that said slavery was "legally wrong," you know what I'm saying? Greatest human atrocity in like, you know, modern history. And so I feel like the idea of celebrating that, from an American standpoint, might really start to help the healing, so it's something really important to me."

Barris continued, "So Ted Sarandos and I, we saw Trump was gonna have his rally and we started talking. He was gonna have it on Juneteenth. We were like, "This isn't okay," and plays take a long time and Pharrell, being who he is and being a partner, when we got together and we called Ted and Ted was immediately receptive. And we're gonna do a musical about Juneteenth. Pharrell's gonna do the music and EVP with me. And we have a great writer and we're gonna get a director, but like we wanna bring this to the audience and, hopefully, goal is to, next Juneteenth have it come on, you know, Netflix as like a weekend, to explain it to everybody also, but to celebrate the day in a really big way."

Watch the interview below!