Fortune's Cookie

You have to join me in bragging with bright smiles only being three months into 2017 and already witnessing how epic of a year it has been for Taraji P. Henson. Henson is currently known as the dauntless character “Cookie” in the popular Television show Empire written and produced by Lee Daniels. Pretty much all of us were  introduced to Henson in 2001 when she played  Yvette putting up with Jody’s crap in the movie Baby Boy.  Since then Henson has been busy building an successful career as one of the top African American actresses.  

Taraji has managed to rack up several awards this year including Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, Satellite Award for Best Ensemble – Motion Picture, and Hidden Figures brought home a Golden Globe and a SAG Award.

She’s moving fast in 2017 and we can barely keep up! In 2015 Henson began her lead role as Cookie Lyon for which she became the first African American woman to win a Critics Choice Award for best actress in a Drama Series. She also won a Golden Globe and was nominated for two Emmy Awards.Last year Henson released a New York Times Best Seller titled ‘Around the Way Girl’. Which is an inside look at her life including family, friends and the struggles she has faced in all aspects of her life.

Taraji recently sat down with the Hollywood reporter to discuss being an African American actress in Hollywood.“Have we seen enough representation of African-American stories? No. But has Hollywood been horrible to me? No. I’ve worked,” she said. “Did I get paid what I deserve? That is the question we should be talking about. But I can’t take that on because I have worked and I’ve seen my career do this. So I never wallow in the muck and say, 'Oh, it’s hard.' That’s a given. I can’t take this skin off. We know what the deal is. You understand? So I’m not going to make it an issue. I’m going to work my a-s off and hopefully the work that I’m doing will change things, will make it better for the next one coming behind me. You let me in, give me an inch, I’ll take a mile. I’ve come a long way.”

Photo by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Photo by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Henson graduated from Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in 1988. She then went to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she studied electrical engineering before transferring to Howard University to study drama. To pay for college, she worked mornings as a secretary at The Pentagon and evenings as a singing-dancing waitress on a dinner-cruise ship, the Spirit of Washington. Taraji has worked her butt off to get where she is today and looks stunning at the age of 46. We should all be honored that the our youth have this amazing Queen as their muse.