Sep. 10, 1990
30 min.
NBC TV Network

Top Contributors

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air » Season 1
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - 01x17 The Ethnic Tip

1x17 The Ethnic Tip

3/5 (1 vote)
First Aired: Jan. 14, 1991 on NBC
Summary: Vivian starts teaching black history at Bel-Air Academy.

Watch Episode On:

- Verizon On Demand (purchase)
- Amazon (purchase)
- VUDU (purchase)

Main Characters in this Episode

Guest Stars

Will Smith played by Will Smith
Geoffrey Butler played by Joseph Marcell
Coach Smiley played by Dave Florek
Assistant Headmaster Armstrong played by Edward Edwards
Jonathan Cartwell played by Keith Bogart
Chadney Hunt played by Michael Landes
Kellogg Lieberbaum played by Michael Weiner
Cheerleader #1 played by Monica Allison

Episode Quotes

William 'Will' Smith: Last night I had a dream that I went to the prom with Harriet Tubman.
William 'Will' Smith: I read the autobiography of Malcolm X.
Vivian Banks: And that makes you a serious Black History student?
William 'Will' Smith: It's a very important book.
Vivian Banks: Will, you can read the books, you can wear the t-shirts, you can put up the posters and you can shout out the slogans. But unless you know all the facts, you are just trivializing the entire struggle.
Vivian: Will, why did you want to take a class in black history?
Will: Because I'm interested in it.
Vivian: Are you really?
Will: Hey, I read the autobiography of Malcolm X like three times.
Vivian: And that makes you interested?
Will: That's a very important book.
Vivian: Will, you can read the book, you can wear the shirt, you can even shout out the slogans, but unless you know ALL the history behind it, you're trivializing the entire struggle. Now you started something very good. Now it's up to you to finish it.


  • This episode was shot before "The Lucky Charm", but aired after it. This is made known by the fact that in "The Lucky Charm", Hilary opens her first paycheck, but in "The Ethnic Tip", she is asking Geoffrey about what to say at her job interview for the same art gallery.
  • The idea that spirituals contain coded messages is considered to be folklore by many scholars. It is uncertain whether "Follow the Drinking Gourd" existed before the 20th century.
You are successfully logged out.

ShareTV Login

Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Create Account

Verify Password

Verification code (check your email for the verification code)

Verification code has been sent to the following email address:
If you didn't receive the verification code:

1. Check your bulk/spam folder.

2. Try to whitelist our email address (noreply@sharetv.org)

3. Resend verification email

If you mistyped your email address change it here
Create a free ShareTV account to make a personalized schedule of your favorite TV shows, keep track of what you've watched, earn points and more.
Verify your username and email to complete your Registration
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Forgot Your Password?

Enter the email address you used to create the account and your password will be emailed to you.