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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.

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty

Taraji P. Henson, Howard University

Daring. Bold. In your face – now what? We all love a bossy, flashy, unapologetic woman that 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's 'More Issues Than Vogue' Listening Event

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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 vocals? 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.

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Source: Paras Griffin/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

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.

ABC Special - Taking The Stage: African American Music And Stories That Changed America

Source: Fred Watkins / Getty

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.

Celebrities Visit Build - January 17, 2018

Source: Andrew Toth / Getty

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.

44th NAACP Image Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Michael Tran / Getty

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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Beauty and Brains: 6 Stars Who Went to HBCUs  was originally published on