�Black-ish� Creator Kenya Barris Has a Dream

7:30am, Pacific Time. Kenya Barris pulls into the parking lot of the Hollywood office where he creates comedic magic for his hit sitcom, Black-ish, which premiered its second season last night. Executive producer and co-showrunner Barris promotes the show by taking calls from press, placing them on hold, clicking to the second line, and returning to answer more questions. He’s verbal. Funny. Black college educated (Clark-Atlanta). And like most parents, enjoys talking about his children.

“I’ll be with my kids on the weekends and my two middle daughters,” he says. “I heard rumbling upstairs and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I let it go on for a while. And finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I go upstairs and they had my sons in their karate gees with full head gear on,” he says, giggling. “And they were having a fight club upstairs, fighting each other for bets. And I felt I had to do this. So in some effort, I do find a lot from my family.”

Barris is the foundation of who and what you see when tuning into Black-ish. Raised in Compton, he found creative and financial success when partnering with childhood friend Tyra Banks to create America’s Next Top Model. Its international success led to him becoming a writer for numerous projects, including The Game and Are We There Yet? He married a doctor named Rainbow (same as Tracee Ellis Ross’s character on Black-ish). And like his characters Rainbow and Andre Johnson (Anthony Anderson), Barris raises children while struggling to maintain his blackness in a world of upper class, White neighborhood living.