Taraji P. Henson: The Supportive Sista Friend

Dear Sista Friend,

I hope your friends are like Taraji P. Henson!

I quit watching a lot of the award shows when I realized that I probably would not see people who look like me. I had not followed the Emmy nominations because I accepted the fact that Black women don’t usually win their awards. On most occasions, we are always underrepresented and overlooked. I scrolled through Facebook to see the amazing beauty of some of my favorite actresses, Dani Brooks, Teyonna Parris, Niecy Nash. (Honestly, every Black woman to grace the red carpet looked AMAZING!). However, I had no true interest in seeing Black women serve as aesthetic props at the Emmys, so I made no effort to tune in.

I quickly regretted not watching when I saw the clips of Viola Davis’s acceptance speech for receiving the award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Her speech was EVERYTHING. It was a bold reminder that even when Black women are told “no”, we can and will make a way and be our authentic selves doing it.   Viola knew that the award she won was not solely hers, but it was ours. Viola’s presence in film and television is a monumental act for Black women of this generation.  I can’t remember a time when a dark skinned Black woman shed her makeup and uncovered her 4c natural hair on national television. I was amazed!

But can we talk about Taraji, the definition of a true sista friend?  Taraji yelled, clapped, and cheered every moment a Black woman walked across the stage to receive an award.  When Regina King won her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in American Crime, Taraji stood off to the side and cheered gleefully.  When Viola won her award, Taraji gave her a hug and kiss that only a true sista friend could as she cheered from the sideline. I am sure that she shared this same joy and excitement when Uzo Aduba won her Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. You could feel the love through the screen. You knew that she was genuinely ecstatic for her sista friends. 

Collectively, that award was Taraji’s, it was Kerry Washington’s, Gabrielle Union’s, Tracee Ellis Ross’ and the many other Black women around the world who are constantly fighting to break down barriers for Black women and women of color. After watching the Emmys, I am reminded that Black sisterhood is powerful. We are our biggest supporters and our most vocal cheerleaders. Supporting our sista friends is necessary. When we make things happen for ourselves, we open doors for each other.  If your sista friends aren’t the loudest in your corner, reevaluate their place in your life.

I am forever grateful for the Tarajis in my life.

Your Sista Friend,


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