After Being Racially Profiled, Taraji P. Henson Sends Her Son to an HBCU

Actress says she plans to send her son to Howard University

Image: File

It seems as though Cookie’s no non-sense behavior may be somewhat of a reflection of Taraji P. Henson’s personal life, especially when it comes to her son.

The 44-year-old mom, who appears on the cover of Uptown’s February/March issue, opened up to the magazine about her son’s run-in with the police and how it’s impacting his college selection.

Back in 2012, Henson told Jimmy Fallon that instead of letting her son go straight to college after high school, she was letting him sit out for a short stint of time to look for a job so that he could understand the importance of hard work. Now, at 20-years-old, Henson’s son has faced another challenge while trying to be a normal college student that has caused the actress to make a mommy-in-chief decision for him.

[Related: Taraji P. Henson Confirmed as Celebrity Ambassador for 2015 American Black Film Festival]

“My child has been racially profiled. He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car,” said Henson. “It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for. Then he’s at the University of Southern California, the school that I was going to transfer him to, when police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets. So guess where he’s going? Howard University. I’m not paying $50K so I can’t sleep at night wondering is this the night my son is getting racially profiled on campus.”

With the recent accounts of college racism that have made headline news, do you agree with Henson’s decision to send her son to an HBCU? Sound-off in the comment section below.

Update: After the Glendale Police Department in California released a video showing an officer respectfully interacting with Taraji P. Henson’s son at a traffic stop, the actress has since issued an apology. She released the following statement on Instagram:

#TurningANegativeIntoAPositive #LoveTarajiPHenson 💋✌️

A photo posted by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on

 


  • charles michael de shields

    i CERTAINLY AGREE; EVEN THOUGH IT’S NOT GUARANTEED THAT HE WON’T FACE THE SAME THERE OR IN THE AREA !! THIS IS AMERICA ISN’T IT ??

  • Charles Casey

    I sent my child Howard University because I know she great education that will prepare better than attending a PWI.

    • Lamar

      College is more than the education received. We can get a great education at many schools…small/unknown as well as Big 10 schools. I would recommend a HBCU to all black students. There are sooo many benefits.

      • Marty

        The sad part is depending upon the HBCU, if you want to go and get a Masters elsewhere, they will not always accept your credits.

    • mariah asphalt

      I know she got that too. The Legacy school for us. Two children and two grand children; and all 4 are dynamite and know who they are and STAND TALL with ANYBODY!

  • Anthony J Grady

    Its true each week black people are facing death being beaten or discriminated against however celebrity or just a common person its grown into a epidemic nationally. We need or Congress and Senators to address the crisis the everyday black people are encountering. our challenge is form groups in our state protest and assemble what we call stop put a end to local government police agencies across America changing our laws and Amen dating the constitution. we need to design an organization in every state and I suggest here sending out emails and form meeting! get petitions made up as well as a member of Move on we have face local government and states capitals to address and change our laws We can make the difference I am open for discussion or interest in this issue contact me Anthony J Grady anth6grad@yahoo.com or 678 323 6955 if can organize we can make the change and history.

    • Anonymous

      Watch the movie “Hidden Colors1-3” and I been looking to address these issues myself

  • Kerri D.W. Staley

    Actually this is a very good idea for all HBCU’s to jump on. Since its volatile for all black students especially young men, going to an ALL black school for education where there is safety in numbers WILL allow them to focus more on their studies rather than possibly getting arrested just for going to McDonalds, or IHOP for dinner.

  • Lamar

    deshields……true…..this is America. But she didn’t him to be profiled while on campus (USC). I agree with her decision. Maybe it should have been her first choice to begin with….just saying.. 🙂

    • Lamar

      she didn’t WANT him to be profiled…..I meant to say.

  • Carol M Seals

    Going to a predominantly white university (PSU Main) prepared me for life in the real world. I learned how to respond to racism in an intellegent, strategic manner. I also learned that most whites are not racists, some ignorant, many good people, no different than blacks. This general worldview has helped me in the work place and in my community. I am a black woman and can not.speak for young black men. What I can say, is when you find yourself in an ocean of sharks, you’ve gotta learn to swim with, and out-wit them in order to survive and thrive. I think HBCUs are great historically and provide stellar academic opportunity. Its a good choice, but not the only choice.

    • ray

      Well put

  • Carol M Seals

    Going to a predominantly white university (PSU Main) prepared me for life in the real world. I learned how to respond to racism in an intellegent, strategic manner. I also learned that most whites are not racists, some ignorant, many good people, no different than blacks. This general worldview has helped me in the work place and in my community. I am a black woman and can not.speak for young black men. What I can say, is when you find yourself in an ocean of sharks, you’ve gotta learn to swim with, and out-wit them in order to survive and thrive. I think HBCUs are great historically and provide stellar academic opportunity. Its a good choice, but not the only choice.

  • mariah asphalt

    Taraji doesn’t have to make excuses as to why she is sending her son to MECCA.

  • Jan

    I believe all African Americans should attend an HBCU for their undergraduate experience. There is nothing like it. Our HBCU’s need our best and brightest and they need the HBCU’s. Our son attends Xavier University of Louisiana (New Irleans) and it has been a great experience. The support system in place to insure student success is second to none. Howard University also provides opportunities to develop strong black leaders. My husband received his JD from Howard and still has friends and connections all over the U S.
    Now realize that because our boys attend an HBCU does not make them immune to racists political systems designed to profile them for being black and make. It is all part of the conspiracy to destroy the black race; destroy the male seed and destroy the race. If our young men are arrested, falsely charged and end up with a felony, this takes them out of mainstream society where they còmpete for well paying jobs, scholarships, etc thereby leaving room for whitecamerica to walk in with little to no competition. Racial profiling is a diabolical trick white America has designed to steal the competitive edge the same way they stole everything else blacks have done throughout history. We need to pray for God’s covering over our boys and try to teach them survival skills. Plead the blood of Jesus over them daily for the only real safety is in Jesus Christ. Pray for our HBCU’ too because they are under attack. Funding is a real issue for those institutions. We need to learn to support our schools once we graduate so that others can have the same great experiences we were afforded by attending an HBCU. Both of our kids attended an HBCU and I know they are better off for it. Let’s support our schools.

  • No Half S*$&

    Sending him to an Historically Black College is a good idea, but the cops in DC harass black young men also and most of the cops in DC are black. Our young black men cannot escape the harassment, we as parents have to talk to our children and let them know that growing up as a young black individual, this is something that they will encounter, including our young black females. My son attended Tuskegee University in AL and he and other young black males were harassed by the security on campus and others that did not attend the school. So, there is no escaping harassment growing up Black!

  • Marty

    It’s a tough call. I don’t blame her. Glendale is not known for being friendly to African Americans sadly.

  • Ray

    As a middle aged Black male I can assure that I’ve been profiled by White , Hispanic and Black officers. In the late 80s two Black officers pulled me over in NewOrleans because I was driving in a rough area in a luxury car. They pulled my luggage out went through it and left it on the ground, I’m from Chicago. My daughter is enrolled at JSU. She is a biology major but after visiting 6 universities which included 3 HbCU’s Howard and Hampton included she chose Jackson State after 5 minutes on campus. She attended a predominantly Caucasian Christian school from pre school through 9th grade. We transferred her to the district public school which is predominantly Hispanic and now she is in college at JSU. There are numerous ways to experience diversity but the student needs to have a level of comfort because for most someone is going to have a bill. Education is an investment not just an experience. That young mans field he plans to major in should have played a part in choosing a school of higher ed. JSU graduates the 2nd highest number of black Biology majors of the HBCU’s and 40th nation wide. All that said racial profiling is not a reason to choose a school

  • Kelis

    “do you agree with Henson’s decision to send her son to an HBCU”

    Who gives a damn if you “agree” or not? That it is her son and her decision. Why does your opinion matter? Why do you feel the need to chime in and judge her decision as a parent?

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  • vernard burney

    I support her decision, & understand why, we all should remember what our children are faced with, when they leave out of the house in America. It’s not easy being ‘black’ in this country, a “Country” which claims to support the “Constitution of U.S.A.”?

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  • Atonya F. Freeney

    Go. mommy!!!! Use wisdom to SAVE your son from these crazy, racist cops!!!! You can go to jail for killing an elephant in Africa, you can go to jail for killing a dog in America, but you go back to work and life ad usual for killing a black man….what a shame!!!