NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk State University hosted the "Class of 2020" address virtually Saturday afternoon.
Due to coronavirus, graduates around the world are not able to celebrate one of their biggest accomplishments.
Norfolk State surprised its 2020 graduates with a speech from music producer and Something in the Water music festival creator, Pharrell Williams.
Pharrell shared positive words and motivation to NSU's class of 2020 while also shedding light on the pandemic.
During his speech, Pharrell noted that NSU's band was set to perform at SITW, which was canceled due to COVID-19.
Pharrell noted notable figures such as Malcom X, Barack Obama, and so many more who came before the graduates, to give them encouragement that everyone has a story and goes through trials and tribulations.
The notable music producer focuses on the importance of how far African American people have come and for all the graduates to keep fighting. He also shed light on the disparities that African American face during the pandemic, due to health issues that are more common in the African American community.
While Pharrell spoke positive words to the Norfolk State graduates, he also highlighted the struggles that African Americans faced throughout American history.
"These levels of destruction help us gain a new sense of awareness," Pharrell said.
To view the Class of 2020 address, click here.
Special message from Virginia's own @Pharrell to the Class of 2020. #NSUGrad20 pic.twitter.com/cJhBP2XNKC
— Norfolk State University (@Norfolkstate) May 9, 2020