Kenya Barris

Writer, producer, and showrunner Kenya Barris was best known for creating the groundbreaking sitcom "Black-ish" (ABC, 2014-). Born in Inglewood, California in 1974, Barris' family eventually relocated to a less impoverished neighborhood, when Barris' mother earned her real estate license and his father was given a settlement for having been badly injured on the job. Barris would eventually attend Clark Atlanta University, and began a career in the entertainment industry in 1997 with a job writing for "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show" (syndicated, 1997-1998). He would go on to write for other series such as the sitcom "Like Family" (WB, 2003-2004) and for the reality series produced by his childhood friend Tyra Banks, "America's Next Top Model" (CW, 2003-). Then in 2014, Barris brought "Black-ish" to the screen. The show depicted an African American family dealing with issues of modern culture and race, and was roundly praised by critics and audiences for its smart, funny, and realistic portrayals of important issues that often went ignored by scripted TV. The series dealt directly with issues like police brutality, and Barris spoke openly about the way his experiences as a father informed the series. As "Black-ish" continued to flourish on television, he spent the show's breaks working on other projects, such as writing and producing "Barbershop: The Next Cut" (2016).