05/06/2013 12:24 pm ET

Tatyana Ali On Growing Up As A Black Latino Woman: 'It Was So Hurtful And Confusing'

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Actress Tatyana Ali grew up on television as the adorable Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” playing the youngest sibling on one of America’s most iconic sitcoms. And while Ali fully embraced her role as part of the country’s beloved black families, at school grappling with her identity was much more complex.

“I remember black friends and white friends saying, ‘why is your hair different’?” recalls Ali, whose mother is from Panama and whose father is Indian, from Trinidad. “It was so hurtful and confusing, when you’re little.”

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