Taraji P. Henson Says Her 20-Year-Old Son Was Racially Profiled So She Found One Way To Help Resolve It

Taraji P. Henson speaks on stage during the "Empire" panel at the Fox 2015 Winter TCA on Saturday Jan. 17, 2015, in Pasadena,
Taraji P. Henson speaks on stage during the "Empire" panel at the Fox 2015 Winter TCA on Saturday Jan. 17, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

As the investigation on this week’s brutal arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson continues, many UVA students have decided to protest Johnson's detainment. Johnson was charged with public swearing, intoxication and obstruction of justice by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents on Wednesday, who left his face bloody and body bruised.

Johnson’s controversial arrest has once again highlighted America’s issues of violent police interactions with Black men. It has also led to widespread concerns from students, parents and celebrities alike who have spoken out about these problems through a number of different platforms.

Among them is Academy-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson who recently shared stories of racial profiling that her 20-year-old son has experienced.

In the Feb./March 2015 issue of Uptown Magazine, the “Empire” star recalled how her son was once profiled by police at the University of Southern California. As a result, Henson said she found one solution to lessen the chances of it happening to him again -- by deciding to enroll him into a Historically Black College or University.

“My child has been racially profiled. 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,” Henson explained.

“Then he’s at University of Southern California, the school that I was going to transfer him to, when police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets. So guess where he’s going? Howard University. 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.”

However, while attending an HBCU does not guarantee protection from racial profiling, Henson believes it certainly won't hurt.

Check out more of Taraji P. Henson’s Uptown Magazine interview here.

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Martese Johnson