Taraji P. Henson, daughter of Boris Henson and Bernice Gordon, is an African American actress. She was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C. Her first name means ‰ÛÏhope‰Û in Swahili. After failing to be accepted into a school of performing arts as a teen, she later went on to study electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. This stint lasted only a year. By the end of the semester, this stellar performer had transferred to Howard University where she fine tuned her skills in acting, dancing and singing. During this period, Taraji also bore son Marcel. This event did not deter her from working extra jobs, taking roles in theatre productions and obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.