Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness


Why Pharrell Almost Didn’t Exist

Credit: Shawn Ahmed

Every one of us is an amalgamation not only of all our ancestors, but of their decisions, and in 1831, Ambrose Hawkins was contemplating moving his family from America to Africa. Had he done so, his son Joseph would have been raised in Liberia instead of North Carolina and never would have become Pharrell Williams’s third great-grandfather.




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Megan Smolenyak

Megan Smolenyak

Genealogical adventurer & storyteller who loves solving mysteries! You may not know me, but chances are you’ve seen my work. (

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