When #FathersDay comes around, it’s almost obligatory to pay tribute to this very dramatic Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode about his reunion with his absent father. Will Smith could’ve gotten an Oscar for this performance. This particular scene is so powerful that you can’t help but get chills each time you see it. Ben Vereen plays the character of Will Smith’s absent father that comes back into his life randomly just to leave again in an instant his trucking business gets some traction which was all within the span of about 3 days of their reunion. Viewers were able to see a young Will Smith and his cast mates tackle one the biggest issues still to this date: fatherhood. There is an absent father crisis in America. According to the U.S. census bureau, 24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today.
As we all know, this is TV but it’s common knowledge that Will’s character didn’t have it bad in his stay in Bel-Air. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air portrays the life of a black kid that had a rough upbringing in Philadelphia but was fortunate enough to spend his high school and college years with his aunt who was married to a rich lawyer in LA. In reality, that isn’t ever the case so much that you’ve probably been guilty of joking that you wish you had a rich uncle in reference to James Avery’s character ‘Uncle Phil’. And if you do have a rich uncle, they’re usually stingy, far-removed and definitely not generous enough to allow you to live rent free with the same benefits that his kids has.
It’s exciting to watch the fresh Prince of Bel-Air and live vicariously through the characters because of the realistic detachment from their tv-lifestyle but this specific episode reminds you that Will’s character is more like you than you allow yourself to think. If you’re a father, this is a good episode to watch with your son which can easily stimulate good energy between the two of you. If you’re a mother, you can share this video to encourage a young father that needs a reminder of the importance of their role. If you’re like me and you’ve never had an encounter with your real father, continue to build relationships with positive male influences that take pride in their work. Seek and accept mentorship. You only know as much as you’re willing to learn. Fatherhood doesn’t always end with your kids. Just as much as someone poured into you, pour into another young brotha that could obviously benefit from it.