Karyn Parsons (Founder and President of Sweet Blackberry) is best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the long-running television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Karyn created the Sweet Blackberry foundation after being inspired by the true tale of a determined slave and the remarkable lengths he travelled 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 share stories of African-American accomplishment with her daughter. A mother and activist, Karyn created Sweet Blackberry to use the power of stories to inspire youth


Sweet Blackberry’s mission is to share stories that empower and instill a sense of pride in children. Previous films by Sweet Blackberry have received the prestigious Parent’s Choice Award and Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Awards, among others. They were narrated by noted actors Alfre Woodard and Queen Latifah. Both films showed on HBO and HBO Family and have been distributed to libraries and schools all over the world and have made a difference!

So much so that a chorus of parents and teachers, around the country, are calling out for us to make more films! For our next story, we will feature the First Black Prima Ballerina Janet Collins!


Janet Collins was a remarkable woman who overcame incredible obstacles to become the first African American soloist to perform at the Metropolitan Opera! When only 15 years old, the talented Janet Collins was asked by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo to join their company on the condition that she perform in whiteface!

She declined and later became a celebrated Prima Ballerina at a time when this was unheard of. She also won awards for her dancing on Broadway including the 1950 title of Best Dancer on Broadway.

Janet Collins set the stage for an explosion of African American dancers for years to come, paving the way for companies like Alvin Ailey and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

Sweet Blackberry’s Kickstarter Campaign is HERE! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/798791271/the-janet-collins-story-presented-by-sweet-blackbe?ref=discovery

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