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Native American Vocalist Is Not “Happy” With Pharrell Williams’ Fashion Statement

tonisempleMany people have expressed  their dismay over the recent Elle UK cover featuring multi-platinum producer/recording artist  Pharrell Williams who is seen wearing a Native American headdress as a fashion statement. Among the comments which have swirled around the Internet is that this is “misappropriation of  Native American culture.”

Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Toni Ann Semple, a resident of Queens, New York, whose roots are from the Cherokee and Mohawk Nations,  takes exception to the cover photo as well. “This is inappropriate. Only Native American Chiefs wear such regalia. Would he ever decide to wear other cultural regalia that distinguishes the leadership of that culture as a fashion statement? I think not, So why would he think that wearing a Native American headdress in the manner that he’s wearing it, which is obviously  done on his part, considered to be okay? I feel that it’s important that we’re more mindful of our actions towards each other, that if  not ponded long enough, can end up being insulting to us all,” she says.

  Williams has since issued a statement, “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “I am genuinely sorry.” But clearly, Toni Ann Semple’s thoughts reflect the sentiments of  fans who are not happy about Pharrell’s photo shoot.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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