Will’s Entanglement With Will
Will Smith made his way to Brooklyn and sat with none other than Spike Lee to dive deep into his memoir. Everyone was treated to a copy of the book upon their entry. The trailer for his upcoming film, King Richard with cameos from Tennis Royalty Venus and Serena Williams. He also played parts of Best Shape, his Youtube Original where he quits on camera. While everyone sat patiently to hear his chapters about Jada, he dazzled the audience with untold stories about his father and his true feelings about becoming a father himself. Through his illustration of his remembrance of having his first born son Trey, he sat on a stool beside a piano eloquently rapping the lyrics of “Just The Two Of Us”. His hit song written specifically for him. He described that his reality was quite different and what actually got him through the tears of his fear was his father’s analogy to either get it done or die. The revelation was heartfelt and Spike merely sat and listened rather than steered the interaction.
Will made sure to again tell the story of how “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air” came to be but not with acknowledging the original “Aunt Viv” Janet Hubert and Karen Parsons. The crowd let of seemingly endless applause for Janet where Will encouraged her to get her flowers. Will went on with his story, while also answering crowd questions. As the evening went on, he again told the story of how Willow taught him about feelings in her defiant act of shaving her head bald while on her “Whip My Hair” tour. Although the Red Table was no where in sight, it was painfully clear that this memoir had only come out because his father had passed away. It was only then that Will admits to feeling free to say certain things.
At the core of it all, it was evident that deep within the respect he had for his father there was fear until he was no more. I wonder if that trauma would have healed earlier had he confronted these feelings and had the courage to say the words that hid in his mind to his dad while he was alive. But there is one thing I disagree with, we should never place our children in a situation that they blame themselves for actions they could never control. Will witnessing his mother be hit by his father and not saying or doing anything made Will believe that he was a coward. Attempting to avenge his mother at that point might have resulted in him being hurt or killed, but to a child they only find fault him themselves. It reminded me of “Pretty Woman” when Richard Gere tells Julia Roberts that it cost him tons of money in therapy to admit that he was very angry with his father.
At the end, Will did what he does best. He made us laugh and played “Summer Time” until we all disappeared in the streets. The book started yesterday in his hometown of Philly with Queen Latifah and leaves Brooklyn to hit Chicago, LA and London. The moderator for LA is Ava Duvernay and London is with Idris Elba.