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Karyn Parsons Creates Kickstarter for Film About Ballerina Janet Collins

1955:  Full-length image of Janet Collins, former Metropolitan Opera ballet soloist, dancing at rehearsal while wearing a bolero top and unitard.  (Photo by Sam Falk/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

Karyn Parsons Creates Kickstarter for Film About Ballerina Janet Collins

Actress Karyn Parsons has launched a Kickstarter to fund a new animated film that tells the story of African-American ballerina Janet Collins, to be narrated by Chris Rock.

UPDATED ON : JUNE 19, 2014 / 03:08 PM

 (Photo: Sam Falk/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

Janet Collins made history on Nov. 13, 1951, as the first African-American soloist ballerina to grace the stage of the Metropolitan Opera while performing in Aida. She overcame obstacles in a time of racial inequality to open doors for future Black ballerinas.

Actress Karyn Parsons — formerly of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air — wants to take children on a journey through Collins's life with a new animated film to be narrated by comedian Chris Rock

"Janet Collins's story shows children that they can be anything even if you are being told that what you are is not the model for success," writes Parsons. "Janet Collins rose to such heights that it is our duty at Sweet Blackberry to share her story with as wide an audience possible!"

Parsons has launched a Kickstarter to raise $75,000 for The Janet Collins Story by July 18. The film is presented by Sweet Blackberry, Parsons's non-profit organization that brings little known stories about accomplished African-Americans to life for kids. 

Money raised for the film will go to production of the film by children's book illustrator R. Gregory Christie and creative studio PixelPirate. The finished film will be distributed to libraries, schools and homes for children to enjoy.

Backers will enjoy perks such as a meeting with the cast of the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a visit from Karyn Parsons to your classroom, a pair of autographed drumsticks from Questlove and more.

Previously, Queen Latifah loaned her vocals to narrate the story of African-American inventor Garrett Morgan for Sweet Blackberry.

Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_

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Written by Natelege Whaley


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