Anthony Sparks earned a BFA in theatre in 1994 from the USC School of Dramatic Arts; and an MA and PhD in American studies and ethnicity, in 2009 and 2012, from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Sparks is a television writer, producer, playwright and teacher. His writing and producing credits include The Blacklist, Undercovers, Lincoln Heights, The Making of “The Sopranos: Road to Respect,” The District, and most recently, OWN TV’s series Queen Sugar, for which he is an executive producer, writer, and showrunner. Sparks is a professor in the department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Fullerton. He has also taught screenwriting and cultural studies at USC and Occidental College. Sparks is an alumnus of the Warner Bros. Television Writing Workshop, The ABC-Disney Television Writing Fellowship, and the 2017 WGA Showrunners Training Program. His play, Ghetto Punch, was presented at several off-Broadway venues and was optioned by NBC and HBO. Sparks began his career as an actor. Sparks is CEO of Creative Sparks, LLC. Sparks is married to Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Associate Professor of Theatre Practice at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. They have three children.
Sparks has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards in 2017 and 2018 for his work on Queen Sugar, and received another 2017 nomination for Outstanding Literature/Instructional Book for writing & co-editing an academic book, Running the Long Race in Gifted Education. Sparks also received individual 2008 and 2009 Sentinel Health Awards from the Norman Lear Center for his work as a television writer.