Taraji P. Henson
Before starring John Singleton's urban-western "Four Brothers," playing Brad Pitt's adoptive mom in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and helping Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel tackle bad guys in "Person of Interest," the versatile actress attended not one, but two HBCUS. She started at NC A & T and as proof of her talent, worked as a Pentagon secretary and a singer/dancer on a cruise liner to help pay her way to go to Howard University.
"The Great Debaters"
Harvard University is generally perceived to the best school in the nation, if not the world and has always been since it’s founding in 1636. However, during the 1930s, the Harvard debate team were defeated by the historically black Wiley College. Produced by Tennessee State alum, Oprah Winfrey, the film was directed by and starred the always powerful Denzel Washington.
In addition to being a world–renowned director, Spike Lee took his "She’s Gotta Have It" character Mars Blackmon and parlayed him into a series of commercials for Nike in the early 90’s. The Morehouse alum has written and directed critically acclaimed films like "Do the Right Thing," "Malcom X" and "Inside Man," along with the moving HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke," about Hurricane Katrina.
The world of college marching bands is as fiercely competitive as the sports these marching bands accompany. The film "Drumline" might take place at the fictional Atlanta A & T University, but the feuds depicted within are true to the travails of a college marching band. Nick Cannon stars as Devon Miles, a high school drummer from New York who attends Atlanta A & T. He has to pesevere and prove himself amongst his bandmates and rival school, the real life school, Morris Brown College.
The Howard University alum has been a part of "Roots" and "Fame." She also has an extensive theater career. But perhaps the sister of Phylicia Rashad is best known currently for her participation on the competition/reality series, "So You Think You Can Dance," as a judge, mentor and choreographer.