Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up about a painful moment in her childhood

By Alexia Fernandez
November 12, 2018 05:53 PM

Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up about a painful moment in her youth.

During Monday’s Red Table Talk episode, the 47-year-old actress spoke about an incident that caused her “a lot of pain and hurt” and dealt with relationships between women of color and white women.

“I remember going to Virginia Beach. Remember when they had the riots?” she asked her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones. “I was there by myself — terrified — trying to get back to my hotel.”

“I will never forget, there were these two white officers. I was like, ‘I’m just trying to get down the street so I can get to my hotel’ and they said, ‘You better get your n—– bitch a– off this street right now,'” she recalled.

Pinkett Smith said the moment shocked her, but her mother commiserated and spoke about her own experiences.

“I remember growing up and not being able to go to downtown and try on hats and different places that we weren’t allowed to go in in our own neighborhood,” Banfield-Jones explained. “We couldn’t go to the bowling alley and to get ice cream we couldn’t sit at the counter.”

Jada Pinkett Smith
Robin Marchant/Getty

She added, “It still bites.”

The 64-year-old shared that she had also experienced racism while working in “white corporate America.”

“We couldn’t go to Tiffany and try on clothes,” she said. “One of my bosses said to me, ‘Yeah, now you can go and try them on and steal them.'”

She added, “I just have a lot of, probably, anger.”

Pinkett Smith’s recollection comes after Megyn Kelly apologized last month for asking if wearing blackface on Halloween was racist. The comments led to the cancellation of Kelly’s show and her attorney stating on Twitter that they and NBC were still negotiating her exit following the scandal.

Pinkett Smith has been open about several topics on her Facebook Watch show. The actress has tackled Scientology, a former feud with Gabrielle Union and, more recently, her marriage to Will Smith.

Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook Watch.