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Karyn Parsons on SweetBlackBerry.org

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The PM Show

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Karyn Parsons, best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the long-running television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” created the Sweet Blackberry foundation after being inspired by the true tale of a determined slave and the remarkable lengths he would go to in order to find his freedom.

While growing up, Karyn’s mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would often share stories with her daughter of African-American accomplishment. Among these was the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom. Henry was shipped, by wagon, boat and train, from Virginia to Philadelphia. When the box was opened, he became a free man.

The story left an indelible impression on Karyn.