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Karyn Parsons

Karyn Parsons is probably best known for playing Hilary on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Her character was, and is, truly beloved by fans around the U.S. and beyond. What her fans didn't know until 2005 was that Parsons was also a writer who spent quite a bit of time writing short fiction, and learning about history — particularly inspiring and empowering stories of African American achievement.

Once she set acting aside in the early 2000s, and had her first child, Parsons decided it was time to take her passion for writing and history seriously and so founded a nonprofit called Sweet Blackberry. They would turn her stories about little-known African American figures, ones that she thought would pique the imaginations of young people, into short films and picture-books. The animated films feature narration from voices like Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Chris Rock, and Laurence Fishburne.

Parsons published her first young adult novel called "How High the Moon" in 2019 and has another one coming out this Summer. “How High the Moon” was inspired by her mother's childhood stories of being a young person growing up in South Carolina during the time of Jim Crow.

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