Kenn Michael: Kid From Reading Rainbow is Working in Media Today

For many children, ‘Reading Rainbow’ served as a source of entertainment, but for individuals like Kenn Michael, it represented much more – it was about representation and the positive affirmations that accompanied it. In Netflix’s ‘Butterfly in the Sky: The Making of Reading Rainbow,’ which features former child participants alongside the show’s creators and producers, Kenn reflected on the profound impact of racial representation embodied by the show’s host, LeVar Burton. Seeing someone who looked like him on screen was a powerful affirmation of his identity, leaving an indelible mark that continues to resonate deeply within him.

Reading Rainbow Inspired Kenn Michael

As a child, Kenn Michael was invited to present book reviews on several episodes of ‘Reading Rainbow.’ He fondly reminisced about his experience reviewing ‘Jumanji’ by Chris Van Allsburg during one of these segments. He enthusiastically recounted the thrilling adventures in the book, expressing his genuine enjoyment of the story and encouraging viewers to read it. Michael felt a sense of personal pride when the book was adapted into a movie, viewing it as a testament to his contribution to the story’s success.

He emphasized the significance of representation, highlighting how seeing someone like LeVar Burton, who resembled him, on television was crucial for his connection to the show. For Kenn, ‘Reading Rainbow’ was more than just entertainment; it reflected an identity that deeply resonated with him. He found it symbolic that an African American man advocated for reading on television, considering the historical context where enslaved individuals were often denied the right to read to prevent rebellion. Witnessing someone who looked like him promote literacy felt empowering and fulfilling, serving as a beacon of hope and possibility.

Kenn started watching the show at 9, yet its profound impact resonated throughout his life. The show’s influence was deeply ingrained, from shaping his career to influencing his personality and instilling a desire for greater exploration in life. His experiences while filming on the show’s sets played a significant role in shaping him into the person he is today, illustrating the lasting imprint of the program on his life’s trajectory.

Where is Kenn Michael Now?

Kenn Michael, previously known as Kenny Black, rose to prominence as a child actor with his notable portrayal of Tito in ‘The Super.’ His career flourished as he secured roles in various projects such as ‘The Parent ‘Hood,’ ‘Dead Man on Campus,’ and ‘As Told by Ginger.’ He recognized his passion for the entertainment industry and pursued film studies at the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1997. Drawing from his extensive experience as a singer and composer, which began at the age of four and led to composing jingles for renowned brands like Bubble Yum, Pepsi, and Lego, Kenn transitioned into sound mixing. In 2008, he joined Cartoon Network in this capacity.

In his diverse career, Kenn Michael has worn many hats. From 2006 to 2015, he served as a voice-over artist for Deep Silver Volition. Additionally, he ventured into directing, taking on projects such as BET Networks. In 2019, his TV movie ‘In Broad Daylight’ was released, followed by another TV movie titled ‘Blood on Her Bridge’ in 2020. Kenn’s contributions to the industry have garnered recognition, earning him a Daytime Emmy Nomination as an Audio Professional.

Kenn Michael is currently juggling multiple roles simultaneously. In 2013, he founded RTEKA, serving as a lead developer. His passion for blending art with technology is evident in his work, and RTEKA allows him to experiment creatively. In addition to RTEKA, Kenn established his own media company, Kenn Michaels Media, in 2020. Through this venture, he undertakes individual and freelance projects with prominent media conglomerates such as Netflix and TVOne. Since 2020, he has also held the position of Head of Media at Impart Media. Based in Los Angeles, California, Kenn has enjoyed an illustrious career thus far, and with his current endeavors, he is poised for continued success in the years to come.

Read More: Jamie Duneier: Kid From Reading Rainbow is a Writer Today