Karyn Parsons

“With a librarian mom, I had easy access to books. All sorts. I’d spend hours surrounded by them and then take a giant stack home. I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than getting lost in a book – in the world of another person – to experience deep empathy. Books offer us the opportunity to walk in another person’s shoes and allow us the chance to better understand people that seem very different from us. And by reading we’ll sometimes see that we’re not so different after all.”


Karyn is best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the iconic television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Today, she is the founder of Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning series of children’s animated films and books sharing stories of unsung black heroes in history. The films feature narration from such notable talents as Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Chris Rock, and Laurence Fishburne. They have been screened on HBO and Netflix and are enjoyed by schools and libraries across the country.

Karyn has also authored the Sweet Blackberry picture books Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight and Saving The Day, which tells the story of how Garrett Morgan invented the traffic signal. Karyn’s debut novel, How High The Moon, was released in March 2019; her latest novel, Clouds Over California, hit bookshelves in July 2023; and Little, Brown recently acquired Parsons’ YA debut, Blue Beach, which is coming soon.

Follow Karyn Parsons on Twitter


Book Karyn Parsons

If you’re interested in having Karyn visit your school or attend your event, or if you have a general question about Karyn, please fill out the following form: