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Many of our favorite celebrities came from humble beginnings. Including Will Smith who’s from West Philadelphia born and raised.

Will opened up about his personal experiences with police during a conversation with Angela Rye on her podcast. “I grew up under, you know, Mayor [Frank] Rizzo. He went from the chief of police to becoming the mayor and he had an iron hand,” said the actor, 51. “I’ve been called n— by the cops in Philly on more than 10 occasions, right? I got stopped frequently.”

Something as simple as Black. Lives. Matter.” Smith said emphasizing each word, “What’s the f**king point of contention?” 

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They also spoke about his grade school career in a Catholic School and how he couldn’t completely connect with his white classmates. “White kids were happy when the cops showed up, and my heart always started pounding,” Smith said. “There’s a part of this that people who don’t grow up in that you just can’t comprehend. You just can’t comprehend what it feels like to feel like you live in an occupied territory.”

Rye asked the actor about his thoughts on both the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing protests. “For the world to see what we’ve been saying for hundreds of years. My grandmother taught me to be thankful for these opportunities, to be thankful for your pain. The entire globe has stood up and said to the African American people, ‘we see you, we hear you. How can we help?’” Smith said, “We’ve never been there before.” 

Will Smith went on to praise the peaceful protests. “Put up a mirror to the demonic imagery of your oppressor. The more still you are in your peaceful protests, the more clear the mirror is to the oppressor for the world to see and for them to see themselves.”