Innnnn West Philadelphia—I mean, at a very famous red table—two Philly natives (born and raised!) sat down to discuss Fatherhood.
Before I get to that, though, I want to report that the husband of one of the co-hosts of the aforementioned Red Table Talk is finally releasing a memoir. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Will Smith announced this weekend that his memoir, aptly titled Will (co-written with bestselling author Mark Manson) is set to be released on Nov. 9.
“I’ve been working on it for the past two years and it is finally ready,” Will said in a social media video announcement where he also debuted the upcoming book’s cover art by visual artist Brendan Odums.
More on the upcoming memoir, via THR:
Will will chronicle Smith’s personal and professional journey thus far, from his upbringing in West Philadelphia to finding inner happiness and success in music and on the small and big screen, having starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to films such as Hitch, Men in Black, I Am Legend and Ali.
Says Smith in a statement, “It’s easy to maneuver the material world once you have conquered your own mind. I believe that. Once you’ve learned the terrain of your own mind, every experience, every emotion, every circumstance, whether positive or negative, simply propels you forward, to greater growth and greater experience. That is true will. To move forward in spite of anything. And to move forward in a way that brings others with you, rather than leave them behind.”
Will has been quite the busy man—most recently embarking on a new fitness journey—but he did have time to sit down for a spell to chat with Kevin Hart about being a Black dad, managing co-parenting relationships with their respective ex-wives, their children dating and what they’ve learned over the years in the Red Table Talk episode titled, “Will Smith Brings Kevin Hart to the Red Table.” Since there’s typically “some healing that needs to happen,” the subject of Kevin’s prior homophobic comments came up, naturally.
“You know, when the whole thing started to happen with the LGBTQ+ community and the misconception of me, and what I was, and what I am, and what I feel, you know, my daughter was so upset ‘cause she couldn’t process how people could think this about her father,” Kevin recalled.
“Jada calls it the power circle, right? And she says what you don’t realize is, as the center of the power, you sit in the eye of the storm where it’s calm,” Will noted, to which Kevin related and agreed. “But one step away from you is where the winds are whipping and where people attack and where all of the fury of the storm rages, but because it’s calm where we are, we just can be totally oblivious to the punishment that gets meted out on the people around us.”
Kevin noted that he doesn’t care much about the backlash (he kind of cares a lot, actually) saying that he’s “shoulder-shrugging,” though he realizes that everything he says and does has an impact on his family—especially his children. It would’ve been enlightening if he had mentioned that he had a further educational discussion with his children about the effect his prior comments had on the LGBTQ community, though he did later note that, in general, part of his maturity process involves learning to listen more.