NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will visit the Tennessee State University campus, Tuesday, March 24 to speak to students, faculty, staff and the community about the HBCU experience and how the HBCU journey shaped her life and prepared her for her future acting career.
Henson showed her love for the performing arts while still at a young age and tried unsuccessfully to apply to a performing arts high school. Instead she attended Oxon High School, graduating in 1988.
She spent her first year in college studying electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. After failing pre-calculus, Henson transferred to Howard University, where she studied theater. At the same time, Henson was working two jobs—one as a secretary at the Pentagon and another as a cruise-ship entertainer. At Howard, she honed her singing, dancing and acting skills, proudly earning herself a “Triple Threat Scholarship.”
Henson is one of many celebrities who attended an HBCU who are now discussing the importance of Historically Black Universities and Colleges. Celebrities who have attended HBCUs include filmmaker Will Packer, who attended Florida A&M University, R&B singer Erykah Badu, who attended Grambling University, Hip-Hop performer Common, who attended Florida A&M, and Oprah Winfrey, who graduated from Tennessee State University.
Henson will address the student body and community in Kean Hall beginning at 1 p.m. followed by a master-level class in the Forum beginning at 2 p.m.
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.