Historically black colleges and universities such as Howard University in Washington DC, Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, and Florida A&M University have been producing leaders for generations. From the Ph.D.’s stepping out of Morehouse College to the lawyers pushing through from Southern University in Louisiana, waving the HBCU flag sends a powerful message!
Behind the brilliance are another wave of graduates who have paved their way through the entertainment industry and earned their star…Let’s salute the celebrities who credit HBCU’s for guiding them.
Taraji P. Henson, Howard University
Daring. Bold. In your face – now what? We all love a bossy, flashy, unapologetic woman who loves to stir up some drama – at least on television. That energy explains why Cookie from the hit series Empire is iconic. Her untouchable role explains why fans keep tuning into the show. Everything about her character proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. But did you know that this stellar actress is degree’d up? Taraji P. Henson graduated from the prestigious HBCU, Howard University, with a degree in theater. Black girl power at its finest.
K. Michelle, Florida A&M University
She may bring the drama on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Love & Hip-Hop: New York, but this beautiful songbird also brings the brains when it comes to the books. Did you know that K. Michelle, who many consider to be overly vocal at times, received a full ride to attend Florida A&M University simply because of her voice? An honors student who majored in Psychology, K. Michelle also had her sights on law school. She turned down the corporate world because of her musical interests. Good move.
Keisha Knight-Pulliam, Spelman College
Little Rudy, professionally recognized as Keisha Knight-Pulliam from the 80’s-90’s hit, The Cosby Show is a proud Spelman College alum. Armed with a degree in Sociology, the stunning actress who has spent most of her life behind the lens is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Oprah Winfrey, Tennessee State University
She doesn’t need a long introduction, because she is a mogul, a maven, and everything in between. Oprah Winfrey, who made her mark in the media arena is also a graduate of Tennessee State University. During her tenure, she majored in Communications and went on to host her own TV show, before diving into her OWN network and the magazine publishing space. A real success story, and black billionaire at that – we have to tip our hat when it comes to her monstrous work ethic and hustle.
Anika Noni Rose, Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University has pushed out some of the brightest alums, such as singer K. Michelle. Another actress who can add graduate to her portfolio is Anika Noni Rose, who starred in Dreamgirls. The theater major, who also starred and won rave reviews for her role as Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog has also starred as a bad girl in Starz, Power! Talk about switching it up.
Omarosa Manigault, Howard University
She’s tough on politics. She’s tough in business. She’s even tougher on reality TV. Hate or love her, Omarosa Manigault is educated in every sense of the word. The former ‘Apprentice’ star and now author, boasts degrees from two HBCU’s. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Howard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She also holds a license to preach.
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