Written by: Jennet Jusu (@TheJusuQuench) | FashionBombDaily Intern
One can ask if $700 can truly invest in a dream, and I’ll have to show you a snapshot of Taraji killing it in a lead role, or perhaps her cover for Instyle Magazine. Because without question, the answer is hell yes. A once aspiring actress and single mom from Washington, D.C Taraji P. Henson shares with Instyle Magazine her highs and lows within her journey migrating to Los Angeles with just $700 dollars and her son, to being a Hollywood headliner, with 20+ years in the business to show for it. From sitcom appearances, and roles that amplified her place in in the industry as the infamous, and no nonsense Cookie Lyon on Empire, she shows she’s capable of doing this and that. Like fighting through the attempts of being typecast by performing immensely well in films such as: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hidden Figures, as well as Hustle & Flow too. Not to mention her true start in the game with her debut Baby Boy. Henson continues breaking through boxes, by creating her own to check off and she does it proudly.
As mentioned in her article with Instyle Magazine, she reflects on how she was the Punky Brewster around the way, with the ability to recite Shakespeare, mind you, in the hood; unapologetically able to fight when she deemed it necessary, too, but only to survive and prevail through the struggles she was faced with. And her multifacetedness followed her through all the way into college where she attended North Carolina A & T to study engineering, with her father an influence on that decision. But he knew like she did that, that wasn’t where her true destiny lied. Which took her failing math and science classes to realize that perhaps, Howard University’s drama department was where she was supposed to be. Now she’s putting in more work by producing films that will be centering Emmett Till’s death, of his lynching in 1955, and establishing foundations such as the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (named after her father), to encourage African-Americans to prioritize their mental health with resources by seeking help. Taraji P. Henson, through all her current and future endeavors, gives full proof that possibilities, even for a single mother that was told she couldn’t do it, could in fact can. Like her new film premiering in February 2019 that she stars and executive produces, she shows in What Women Want as Ali Davis, that they truly want the opportunity to be all that they can be, with no limits that they’ll only just break through, regardless.
Photography by: Robbie Fimmano. Styling by: Julia von Boehm.