Anthony Anderson is all smiles as he visits the Build Series to discuss his new projects at Build Studio in New York City.

Ben Gabbe/
Sydney Scott
Sep, 29, 2017

We all know and love Anthony Anderson as the patriarch of the Johnson family, Dre, on hit series Black-ish. And, speaking with the actor, it's quite clear that the values he tries to instill in his TV children are the same ones he's instilled in his own.

ESSENCE spoke to Anderson, who has teamed up with State Farm for their annual Good Neighbor Day, which sees people across the country giving back to local communities. It's something close to Anderson's heart. 

The actor regularly gives back and has instilled the same values in his children, revealing that his son even passed up a trip to China in order to go to Florida to help with hurricane relief efforts. 

"He was like 'Dad, I'm passionate about this,'" Anderson said. "So, now he's going down to Florida to do some volunteer work."

Anderson added that his daughter, a senior in college, has even decided to focus on helping through policy by majoring in sociology with plans to get her doctorate after graduating.   

"Me and my children, we've done Habitat for Humanity, rebuilt and painted homes. There's a mission we do volunteer work with called the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission," he told ESSENCE. "My kids have grown up doing this."

Anderson also touched on Black-ish, which is set to return Oct. 3. 

The show's season three finale saw the Johnson family coming together during Rainbow's (Tracee Ellis Ross) complicated delivery and Anderson says the show's return will see Rainbow dealing with postpartum depression.

There's also been buzz about Grown-ish, a spin-off of Black-ish that will see Zoey (Yara Shahidi) heading to college. Discussing his own experience at Howard University and how college thrust him into adulthood, Anderson revealed that he grew up pretty quickly when he received an eviction notice. 

"My parents were tired of paying my bills, whenever they could pay them," Anderson dished. "They were like, 'Look here, sucka, you gotta get a job.' And, when I didn't, I realized I didn't have a safety net. I was out there on my own. That's when it got real for me, when that eviction notice was slapped on my door."

Hopefully, Zoey navigates her first year of college a little better.

You can find out more about State Farm's Good Neighbor Day at NeighborhoodofGood.com