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Anthony Sparks is an American television writer-producer and playwright. He is also an essay writer who focuses on media, performance, and African American politics and culture. His television writing credits include the NBC J.J. Abrams series "Undercovers", the ABC Family cop/family drama series, Lincoln Heights, and the CBS cop drama "The District". He was recently a writer and producer on the NBC drama, "The Blacklist". He is currently a writer and Co-Executive Producer on "Queen Sugar," the drama that debuted in 2016 and is created by Ava DuVernay and executive produced by DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey for OWN.
Anthony Sparks is an alumnus of the Warner Bros. Television Writing Workshop, The ABC-Disney Television Writing Fellowship, and the 2017 WGA Showrunners Training Program.
Among his plays, Ghetto Punch has appeared in several venues across the country and was featured in American Theatre magazine.
Anthony began his career as an actor, working extensively in acclaimed regional theaters (i.e. Old Globe Theatre, Crossroads Theater, The Public Theater), and appeared for five years as the comedic lead in New York and the Broadway tour of the international hit theatre show, STOMP. He also appeared in the Emmy-winning HBO film, STOMPOUTLOUD.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Anthony attended the Whitney Young Academic Center and Whitney Young Magnet High School. He graduated cum laude and with several honors from the University of Southern California where he studied theatre, film, cultural studies, and anthropology. He also earned his master's degree at USC, and recently completed a Ph.D. degree from USC's top ranked program in American Studies and Ethnicity. He was also a Fellow at the USC Center for American Studies for several years.
Sparks is also a committed educator in the fields of film, television, African American studies, and American Studies. He has taught screenwriting and cultural studies at USC, Occidental College, and California State University, Fullerton.
Anthony has been nominated for two 2018 NAACP Image Awards. He was nominated for Outstanding Writing in Television Drama for the Queen Sugar (OWN) second-season episode "What Do I Care for Morning". This is his second consecutive nomination in this category and his third overall Image Award nomination for Outstanding Television Drama Writing. He is also nominated in 2018 as part of the Queen Sugar Season 2 producing team for Outstanding Television Drama. Sparks was also nominated for several 2017 NAACP Image Awards—two for Queen Sugar (an individual nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series and a team nomination for Outstanding Drama Series)-- and he received another 2017 nomination for Outstanding Literature/Instructional Book for writing & co-editing an academic book, Running the Long Race in Gifted Education. Anthony Sparks also received individual 2008 and 2009 Sentinel Health Awards from the Norman Lear Center for his work as a television writer, as well as a 2008 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Dramatic Writing in a Television Series and a 2010 NAACP Image Award as a producer for Outstanding Dramatic Television Series.