The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a 1990's American sitcom centred around the lives of an African American family. Will is a character that has come from a poor single parent family in a rough neighbourhood, a more stereotypical African American background, who goes to live with his wealthy middle class Uncle. Although it was and is successful with both black and white groups, it offers interesting representations of race. The Banks family are not stereotyped by race and in many ways represent the assimilation of cultures to attain the American Dream; Philip being a successful attorney and Vivian an English professor. They earn enough to afford a large house and have an English butler. Hilary represents a typical 'valley girl' persona which is normally restricted to white American teenagers. They are educated and have achieved the dream through personal hard work.
In direct contrast Will's character is represented throughout as 'other' and keen to remain true to his black roots, through dress, language and his assertion that he is from 'the hood' and so is stereotypically street wise and represents contemporary black youth.
It is down to the audience to decide which is a 'true' representation of blackness. Will character from season one humorously questions the authenticity of his relations culture as he sees them as loosing their blackness to fit in with a world that is largely white dominated. However, it can be seen the the Banks represent modern America in terms of racial discourse becoming more open for African Americans to achieve success and the American Dream in all sections of life.
(1) Undermining Traditional Black Stereotypes in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Sara Corrizzato <http://www.iperstoria.it/vecchiosito/httpdocs//?p=237>