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Top 10 Actors From an HBCU

There have been plenty of celebrities who have gone on to graduate from HBCU's, whether they are celebrities in STEM or on the big screen. We've pulled together a top 10 actors from an HBCU list for you to see just how many of your favorite stars started at a college just like you and then went on to pursue their dreams in Hollywood. It certainly isn't an easy journey, but you may consider starting your journey where they started theirs.

Taraji P. Henson

Graduated in 1995 from Howard University. She went on to become a very popular Academy Award-nominated actress that you should be very familiar with on the big screen.

Samuel L. Jackson

Graduated in 1972 from Morehouse College. He started his collegiate journey as a Marine Biology major and wound up switching to Performing Arts. He even wound up being charged with a felony before graduating for holding members of the Morehouse College board of trustees hostage on the campus, demanding reform of the curriculum and governance. While we don't recommend his methods, he certainly is still doing great things on the movie screens.

Phylicia Rashad

Graduated in 1970 from Howard University. You may recognize her from The Cosby Show, Creed, and many more.

Debbie Allen

Graduated in 1971 from Howard University. She's the sister to Phylicia Rashad, and has had many notable acting credits herself.

Wanda Sykes

Graduated in 1986 from Hampton University. She's a comedian and actress who started her career working for the NSA.

Lance Gross

Graduated in 2004 from Howard University. You may know him from the Tyler Perry show House of Payne, as well as other acting credits.

Keenen Ivory Wayans

Didn't actually graduate, but attended Tuskegee University. He wound up dropping out one semester before graduation to focus on comedy. He hosted the show In Living Color as well as other various credits including My Wife and Kids, Happily Divorced, and more.

Wendy Raquel Robinson

Graduated from Howard University. She made her acting debut in 1993, and then starred on The Steve Harvey Show for six seasons and was also in Miss Congeniality and The Game.

Terrence J

Graduated in 2004 from North Carolina A&T State University. He is mainly known as the host of 106 & Park, as well as starred in Think Like a Man, Burlesque, and The Game, to name a few.

Anika Noni Rose

Graduated from Florida A&M University. She is known for her role in Dreamgirls, and also voiced Tiana, the first African-American Disney princess.

Hopefully, this list of top 10 actors from an HBCU gave you some hope if you're dreaming big of making it as an actor. It's not always an easy journey, and for many of these stars, it started out as a different journey.


  • I enjoyed reading this! I know there are many more☺️. However, I feel Chadwick Boseman would be a great addition to the list. He graduated from Howard University in 1999.

    Cash on
  • Michael Clarke-Duncan, actor, Alcorn State University

    Glenn Baham on

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