With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including Katherine, the NASA mathematician, Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, Henson discusses her family—the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life’s challenges, and of her mother, who survived violence both at home and on DC’s volatile streets. Here, too, she opens up about her experiences as a single mother, a journey some saw as a burden, but which she saw as a gift.
Henson also reflects on the world-class instruction she received at Howard University and how she chipped away, with one small role after another, at Hollywood's resistance to give women, particularly women of color, meaty significant roles. With laugh-out-loud humor and candor, she shares the challenges and disappointments of the actor’s journey and shows us that behind the red carpet moments, she is ever authentic. With lessons learned from throughout her career, Henson offers valuable insight into what it means to work hard to define and achieve success. Engaging and passionate, she inspires audiences with personal stories and firsthand insight into leveraging individual strengths to pursue one's dreams.
- A Conversation with Taraji Henson