5 Facts About The Real Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris
Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta

5 Facts About The Real Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris

Fans of ABC’s hit prime time comedy “Black-ish know that one of the show’s main characters, Rainbow Johnson, played by award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross, is based on the real life of Dr. Rania “Rainbow” Edwards-Barris.

Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris is the wife of the show’s executive producer Kenya Barris. She wins the hearts of millions of fans on the hit show because of her girl boss mentality, relatable personality, life experiences, and of course her stylish fashions. 

Here are a few things you didn’t know about the woman who inspired such a dynamic character. 

She is an author.

Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris released a parenting advice book in 2018 titled “Keeping Up With the Johnsons: Bow’s Guide to Black-ish Parenting.” In her book, the mother of six shares examples of embracing imperfect parenting and talks about how those mistakes can sometimes be the best thing for child development. The book provides hilarious descriptions of some of her personal challenges and experiences as a Black working mom juggling many hats. The book landed on Amazon’s Best Seller list for Parenting and Family Humor. 

She’s an anesthesiologist.

Art often imitates life, and in the case of “Black-ish” character Bow Johnson, they’ve got it down pat. The actual Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris is indeed an accomplished medical doctor. She received her medical degree from David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and has been in practice between 11-20 years, according to U.S News. She went on to complete her residency at Cedars-Sinai, all while balancing her personal life as a wife and student. Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris has a license to practice in California and is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

She attended a historically Black university.

Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris graduated with a bachelor’s of science in biology from Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in 1996, according to the CAU website. She was reportedly the first in her family to go to college. It was during this time that she reconnected with her high school sweetheart and now husband and father of her children, Kenya Barris, according to the New Yorker. 

She’s a philanthropist.

In 2018, Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris and her husband Kenya Barris pledged $1 million to their alma mater, CAU. They created the Kenya and Rainbow Barris Annual Scholarship Award to support students majoring in biology or mass media arts. Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris and Kenya Barris’ donation was the largest alumni gift ever to the Atlanta college. 

She’s a motivational speaker.

If you take a look at Dr. Rainbow Edwards-Barris’ Instagram, you’ll see messages of inspiration — from transparent mommy moments, motivational career moves and COVID-19 warnings to speaking out on social justice. She also shared those messages in speaking engagements before the country stopped having large gatherings.