03/19/2015 11:17 am ET Updated Mar 19, 2015

Common, Pharrell, And ‘The New Black': An Ignorant Mentality That Undermines The Black Experience

Larry Busacca via Getty Images

“The New Black doesn't blame other races for our issues.”

So decreed Pharrell Williams when the hit-making superstar spoke to Oprah last summer about the current racial climate in America. In the months following the release of Pharrell’s sugary soul-pop hit “Happy,” the country struggled through a summer that saw a string of high-profile cases involving police killing innocent black citizens. But while speaking to Oprah, and having watched clips of fans paying tribute to his uber-cheerful single, Pharrell decided to advertise a “new” mindset for black people to adopt—one of good ol’ positive thinking.

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