The Belmont Hill community was honored by the virtual presence of Kenya Barris. The renowned and prolific multihyphenate, responsible for shows such as Black-ish and #BlackAF, is a truly unique creative voice whose wisdom and grace equals his accomplishments. Teaching lessons in respect, kindness, and community, Barris reiterated the importance of communication and collaboration in a country plagued by division.
In anecdotes, he recounted conversations that sprouted from differences he had never stopped to observe, reminding us to embrace diversity and learn from it. He imparted that honesty and being forthcoming are essential to productivity. Acknowledging and respecting our differences is vital in building a copacetic society. Even when you stand entirely against one’s beliefs, understanding where they are coming from is imperative to maintain respectful relations. He also touched on the virtues of using humor to both relate our humanity and combat the wrong we see in our world.
Reflecting upon his time in high school, Mr. Barris advised the crowd to stay in touch with those around them. He reassured that those you bring up will do the same for you by sharing stories of lifelong friendships and the fruit they have borne. Through all of his insights, Barris maintained a suave sense of humor and striking humility. Though Barris’s success in Hollywood is immensely impressive, his genuine desire to mentor and distinctive reality-grounded artistry make him an incredible role model and enlightening speaker.