Taraji P. Henson Covers Uptown Magazine Talks Black Women On Tv, Her Son Being Racially Profiled And More

February 11, 2015  |  

It’s no secret that we love Taraji P. Henson around here. And her leading role on Fox’s new “it” show “Empire” has only strengthened that love. So naturally, we were excited to see that she made the cover of Uptown magazine.

And as you might expect, she looks absolutely stunning. But in addition to her looks, Henson dropped some real knowledge about the trajectory of her career, making characters that could be stereotypes real and relatable on her son being racially profiled in California and how she predicted her career success as a young child.

On making would-be stereotypical characters real 

“I played a lot of characters that could’ve been borderline stereotypical women, but my job as an actress is to make the audience understand and empathize with the people. Cookie is a lot. She wears me out but I know this woman. I’ve done my research inside and out. I took Cookie from Lee and made her my own.”

On predicting her career success

My mother said she would be at the dinner table, you know, emotional over bills and stuff, and even as a young girl, I would come over to her and say, ‘Mommy, don’t cry. I’ma be really rich one day and be famous and take care of us.’ I just knew.

All the Black women on tv

“It feels good that there’s not just one black person. I don’t like that we get fixated on one or two at a time, or three at a time. If you look at Caucasian Hollywood, every year there’s a handful of new faces you’ve never seen before, then after that, they got five movies coming out and they’re introducing you to more talent. So I’m just so happy to see what’s happening on television right now. We have options and that’s how it should be.”

On her son being racially profiled

“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. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for. Then he’s at 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.”

The trajectory of her career

“This journey is not over,” she says with a bit of defiance in her voice. Empire was officially picked up for a second season and the future is sparkling bright for the rising star. “I’ve come a long way from ‘Aye, that’s that girl from Baby Boy’ to now people know how to pronounce my name. But I’m just scratching the surface. For whatever reason, God gave me this life, and I’m not gon’ fuck it up.”

Check out the highlights from her interview and a few shots from the cover shoot.

And of course, to read her interview in its entirety, head over to UptownMagazinecom.

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