Will Smith says that police called him racial slurs on ‘more than 10 occasions’ while growing up in Philadelphia
Smith recently spoke to political activist Angela Rye about being Black in America
Smith, who starred last year in “Aladdin” and “Gemini Man,” spoke in a video conversation to political activist Angela Rye about being Black in America, USA Today reported.
Discussing growing up in Philadelphia, Smith said that he had been called racial slurs by police officers on “more than 10 occasions,” according to The Hill.
“I got stopped frequently,” said Smith, according to The Hill. “I understand what it’s like to be in those circumstances with the police.”
Smith talked about attending a Catholic school while growing up and said that he noticed his white schoolmates would act differently when the police were around, according to The Hill.
“White kids were happy when the cops showed up and my heart always started pounding,” Smith said, according to The Hill. “There’s a part of this that people who don’t grow up in that, you just can’t comprehend.”
Smith also discussed the Black Lives Matter protests that have been taking place around the country, saying that he’s excited to see the support that they’ve received, according to People magazine.
“We are in a circumstance that we’ve never been in before,” said Smith, according to People. “The entire globe has stood up and said to the African American people, ‘We see you and we hear you. How can we help?’ We’ve never been there before.”
Smith said that he intends to support and work for change in the United States.
“I am pledging my unending devotion to the evolution of my community and the evolution of my country, and ultimately the world, towards the greatest harmony that we’ll be able to create,” Smith said, according to People. “I am happy to be alive during this time, and to serve.”