Celebrity Interviews

Karyn Parsons Tells Stories from “Fresh Prince,” Speaks on Black Empowerment + Gets Emotional

You’ll remember today’s guest from her role as Hilary Banks from the popular NBC sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Today, actress and writer Karyn Parsons is the founder and president of Sweet Blackberry, a foundation that aims to teach children stories of African American achievement. Parsons stopped by Sway in the Morning to tell us all about her Sweet Blackberry initiative, being a mom, and her acting career.

Like many other Americans, Parsons felt that her primary and secondary schooling did very little to outline empowering narratives based on people of color. She never felt truly connected and noticed that history was taught in a way that wasn’t necessarily engaging.

Parsons discussed the negative effects that can come from media’s portrayal of African Americans, including the need for many black celebrities who bleach/lighten their skin color.

We also spoke to Parsons about her relationship with the cast members from “The Fresh Prince.” She was even kind enough to tell us few stories about memorable moments they shared on set.


Icon of hip-hop culture and a pivotal part of the MTV News team, Sway has been a staple of the music-news arena for more than a decade. From giving Eminem, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac their very first radio airplay on his local show in the mid-’90s to providing television viewers with their first good look at some of today’s hottest celebrities in music, film, fashion and sports. Sway has been there for some of music and the world’s biggest moments.

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