Editor’s Pick: Shining Light on Karyn Parson’s Sweet Blackberry Organization

Karyn Parsons at the premiere of 'The Ladies Man' at the Paramount Theatre, on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, Ca. 10/10/00. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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While I had heard a little about Karyn Parson’s current venture and knew it involved children, I did not know much about it, until our marketing VP sent me over a link of her interview with Huffington Post- Black Voices that I got to learn more and became very interested.

Sweet Blackberry produces educational DVD’s for children, sharing many of the untold stories of African Americans who overcame or beat the odds.

Parsons believes it’s not just African-American history but American history and these stories should be told. She says she does not believe trying to compact everything into February is enough, as it is a vast amount of history. Parsons also noted, “When you only hear about a handful of stories, the message is “Every once in a while, a special black person comes along.

Parsons founded Sweet Blackberry in 2004 after having her daughter. “It was my husband who said, “You need to stop talking about this, it’s really important, you need to do it.” He’s an independent filmmaker, so he just does stuff. He doesn’t wait, Parsons said in that 2014 interview.

At the time of that interview Parsons and Sweet Blackberry had a crowdfunding initiative in place to produce a film about Janet Collins, the African American prima ballerina, who passed in 2003. Parsons says she read Collins’s obituary and thought her story should be told. From the looks of the Sweet Blackberry site, they successfully funded the project and were able to produce the film. Kuddos to them!

As a grown Black woman who still gets fascinated learning about other Blacks in history, I love what Karyn is doing. It’s educational and cultural, and as a parent, I wish I knew of these when my children were younger, knowing how important it is for our children to be exposed to positive media. However, I am still thinking of streaming the films, because I also noticed the films can be streamed through services like NetFlix. To learn more about Sweet Blackberry visit, http://www.sweetblackberry.org/.

 

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