Yesha Callahan

Taraji P. Henson Says She’s Sending Her Son to Howard After Racial Profiling Incident


Nowadays Black mothers are dealing with their children being racially profiled more than ever. How to deal with police when you’re being pulled over or stopped, even while walking, is a conversation parents are having with their children, and it doesn’t matter if you’re famous.

In a recent interview, Empire star Taraji P. Henson told Uptown magazine stories about her 20-year-old son being racially profiled.

“My child has been racially profiled,” she said. “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,” she continued. “When police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets.”

“So guess where he’s going? Howard University,” she said. “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.”

Amen, Taraji!

But let’s just say everything isn’t rosy at Howard either. You still have to venture off campus and D.C. cops aren’t the most kind.


In a statement to PEOPLE, Chief of the Department of Public Safety at The University of California, John Thomas, said the following:

“I would like to look into this matter further and better understand who was involved and what took place. As someone who personally experienced racial profiling as a teenager, I have a stake in learning more about this incident and doing all I can to reach a just resolution,” he wrote. “Any allegation of bias or unequal treatment by university officers would trigger an investigation that I would supervise along with the university’s Office of Equity and Diversity.”

Image Credits: UPTOWN Magazine 

  1. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    She is a Howard University Alumni, I think she knows exactly what she is doing.

    Before transfering to Howard University(largest producers of black Phd’s) she attended North Carolina A&T another HBCU(largest producer of black engineers). I honestly think this also has to do with her being able to let go and let her son be away for college.

    But, those of us who actually attended black colleges know that he will indeed get a quality education no matter what the motivation is.

  2. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    I think black folks are getting the message, they are realizing as far as higher education is concerned there are other viable options.

    Pulled from an article about Howard’s double digit increase in applicants:

    Howard University announced that applications have risen dramatically for the 2015-16 academic year, with the University’s overall applicant pool increasing 24% year-over-year.

    The University has already received 28,466 applications for admission, compared to 22,913 applications this time last year.The caliber of applicants is also strong. While the average SAT score for African-American students nationwide still hovers around 855, the 75th percentile of accepted Howard freshmen for 2015-16 is 1200, 345 points above the national average.

  3. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    i bet if you took a poll of black america, a lot of us have been doing more pro-black things lately. i know i definitely have been going outta my way to give my money to black owned businesses whenever i can for the past couple yrs. i’ve even donated to friends who started businesses recently b/c i’m tired of financing our own marginalization. part of me does wonder if resegregation might be the answer & the fight can turn into just making sure we have equitable rights.

    • March 24, 2015 - Reply


      “… i know i definitely have been going outta my way to give my money to black owned businesses whenever i can for the past couple yrs. i’ve even donated to friends who started businesses recently b/c i’m tired of financing our own marginalization. part of me does wonder if resegregation might be the answer & the fight can turn into just making sure we have equitable rights.”
      I am genuinely happy for you.
      I am sooooooo tired of being in the presence of my girlfriends as they mope about designers not including Black women in any of their campaigns for the seasons. But then find any excuse to not “buy Black”.

      • March 24, 2015 - Reply


        yes. i got tired of hearing it from my friends too. & then i started feeling like i was the only person in the world defending black people TO black people so i just started putting my money where my mouth is. i figured if i can find good black businesses to support & recommend to my friends then they can hopefully find hope that it is possible to get along w/o beggin for white acceptance. the biggest hurdle was getting over the nervousness of asking people to specifically recommend black businesses. when i 1st started i would get scared that i sounded racist, but the more i read about how the jewish community functions almost like it’s own country within the u.s. & i pay attention to the hispanics in my neighborhood (i live in a dominican area) & even watching how the lgbt community works, i realize that none of them got to where they are by giving a damn if a white supremacist society thinks it’s wrong for minorities to stick together.

    • March 25, 2015 - Reply


      That’s so great of you.

  4. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    I applaud Tarajie P. Henson for sending her son to Howard. I am also happy that she put Southern Cal on blast for their treatment of her son. The university lost a kid whose Mom was playing full freight, and who could have been a wealthy donor and supporter. The campus police seriously cost the school some money.

  5. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    Unfortunately, that won’t stop her son being profiled. Talk to the Howard grads you know, and ask how many of them were profiled during their time in D.C. It would be nice if being in a predominately black environment protected them, but sadly it isn’t so. 🙁
    That said, Howard is a good school, so if that’s where he wants to go, he should.

    • March 24, 2015 - Reply

      @Ada Niemand

      I am sure you are right but, at least he won’t be profiled for being a black male student on the campus itself.

      The other part of that, is that this good looking young man who’s mother is currently on the hottest show in black households. Will be on a campus with well over 5000 young attractive black woman.

      So wrong to say I know but, I can only imagine.

  6. March 25, 2015 - Reply

    First and foremost, we are all glad that Taraji P. Henson’s son is safe. Unfortunately, many black people (irrespective of gender, class, age, or creed) have been the victims of racial profiling at the hands of law enforcement authorities. It is Taraji’s prerogative to send her child to Howard if she wants too. Definitely, there should be an investigation and the officer who participated in the racial profiling incident ought to be held into account. Taraji is responding to a situation where she is making sure that her money is being spent on her son’s education wisely (and she will not tolerate an injustice). We also have to continue to be conscious about these issues, know about student debt issues, and defend the human rights of our people.

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