Taraji P. Henson announced the October 11th release date for her memoir, Around The Way Girl on Thursday.
The Golden Globe award-winning actress, who currently stars as the infamous “Cookie Lyon” on Fox’s hit show Empire took to Instagram to share the news.
According to Taraji’s IMDb page, she attended Howard University. To pay for school, she worked two jobs: in the morning, as a secretary at the Pentagon; at night, as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship. When she was in her junior year of college, Taraji found out she was pregnant. Not only was she determined to keep her baby, but Taraji refused to miss a beat when it came to her performance schedule. She graduated from Howard in 1995 with a degree in theater.
Read more about Taraji; sourced from Biography.com:
In 1996, Taraji and her son moved to Los Angeles so she could pursue a professional acting career. She had just $700 in her bank account at the time. After two years of auditioning while also working an office job to make ends meet, Henson landed her first professional acting gig, a recurring role on the television show Smart Guy. The role led to a part on the sitcom Sister, Sister, starring teen twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. Early in her career, Henson also made appearances on TV’s Homicide: Life on the Streets and the popular medical drama ER.
In 2001, Henson got her big break with a starring role in John Singleton’s film Baby Boy. Her performance led to another major role, as Shug in the 2004 movie Hustle and Flow. In addition to acting in Hustle and Flow, Henson sang “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” on the film’s soundtrack. The track won a 2004 Academy Award for best song, with Henson performing at the telecast.
Taraji went on to land main parts in Smokin’ Aces and Talk to Me. A challenging role as the adoptive mother to Brad Pitt’s titular character in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) highlighted Henson’s flexibility and range as an actress, earning her both Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations. She has worked increasingly frequently as a character actress ever since, including roles in Tyler Perry movies like The Family That Preys (2008) and I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009). More recently, Henson appeared in the 2012 comedy Think Like a Man and the 2014 thriller No Good Deed, which debuted at No. 1 at the box office and ultimately earned more than $54 million. She was also on the television series Person of Interest from 2011 to 2013.
In 2015, Taraji returned to television with Empire, a hip-hop take on the soap opera format that’s generated huge buzz. She stars as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of music industry titan Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). Cookie seeks to claim her share of her ex-husband’s business after serving 17 years in prison. Taraji’s character quickly emerged as a fan favorite for her cutting remarks and flashy fashions, and the show became one of the year’s big breakout hits. In 2015, Taraji was nominated for an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama for her work on the show, and early the following year won a Golden Globe, her first.
A proud single mother, Taraji’s Instagram bio simply reads “Single mother and doing the damn thang!”
In anticipation of the book, Taraji’s expresses to fans:
“I love to play all kinds of characters, and I was trained to do exactly that. But whether it’s Cookie from Empire, Queenie from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Yvette from Baby Boy, or rocket scientist Katherine Johnson from Hidden Figures, they’re characters. As for the real me, I’m just a girl who went to Hollywood with my son, $700, and a dream. There were some detours along the way, some heartache, and a whole lot of hustle. My family, friends, and fans always keep it real with me. Know that I’m going to keep it real with you. Check out my story. I hope you laugh with me and cry with me and maybe get a little bit inspired.”
You can pre-order your copy of Taraji’s memoir, Around The Way Girl, here.