Did you know that P. Diddy interned at Uptown records while he was at Howard University? Or that Oprah got her start in broadcasting while at Tennessee State University? Check out our of slideshow of famous HBCU alumni. Are we missing someone? Tell us in the comments section!
While Sean “Puffy”/”P. Diddy” Combs was attending Howard, he also interned at Uptown records, commuting on the weekends from Washington D.C. to New York City. Eventually, the head of the label offered Combs a job, so he dropped out of school to pursue music full-time.
This Nobel Prize-winning author graduated from Howard University with a degree in English in 1953.
As a theatre arts major at Howard University, Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson worked as a secretary at the Pentagon to pay the bills.
Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show, graduated Spelman in 2001. While in college, she was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Jackson was originally a marine biology major at Morehouse College before switching his focus to acting.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Walker entered Spelman College in 1961. After two years there, she transferred to Sarah Lawrence in New York to finish her education.
Cain, who recently threw his hat in the ring for the Republican presidential nomination, graduated Morehouse in 1967. He studied mathematics.
Winfrey’s broadcasting career got a major boost while she was still a student at Tennessee State University. While in college, she was offered a job as an anchor at the local CBS affiliate. She took the position after a teacher told her broadcasting jobs were “the reason people go to college.”
Shelton “Spike” Lee got his BA from Morehouse in 1979.
Sykes attended Hampton University. After graduating in 1986, she worked at the National Security Agency for five years.
Badu studied theatre at Grambling State University and was even as campus queen before she left to start her music career.
If you were me, what would you do?
I’m entirely the artist, tired and wearied, yet observant, hopeful, eager to alter the world for a lighter version. My novels are filled with poetry, heart, art, and tales of darkness, depth, homelessness, depression, intimate partner violence, all based upon my interpretations of real events.
I have always had the gift of being a storyteller, and, I have funneled that gift into five manuscripts which I have a desire to publish (as the sixth is a compilation of my poetry), so that the world may have another message, another tale that might inspire, change, and advance this world. I also want to work to end homelessness on a world scale. I just have to find the right way in which to do it.
I have six books that I’m seeking representation and publishing for! I hope to soon follow in the steps of Khaled Hosseini, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Richard Wright for the following reason.
I’d say that my books have the realism of Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns), the shock and boldness and accuracy of Richard Wright (Black Boy, Native Son), the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, the bildungsroman of J.D. Salinger, and the perilous romance of Ian McEwan (Atonement). But, too, the passion of myself, the words of a 21st century youth, on the brink of adulthood with the ambition and hopefulness everyone first holds. I hope that you might be able to help me.
In the words of my architecture professor, my desire to be published is like “Horton Hears A Who… you know, you have to believe in it… at some point (praise the Lord ^.^) you’re going to have to hear a Who… at some point, you’re going to have to believe in what you’re doing” and, I believe in this. Thank you for seeking to connect!
. I am 22, right now, and, I have a passion: writing. I have six books in my belt but no one who will actually do anything about helping me in my struggle to have those words published outside of giving me advice to find a literary agent; a seeming impossibility when no one wants to take a risk on the 22 year old newcomer that has not a name. Everyone says be young, follow your passion, yet, when I say that I want to follow my passion, no one wants to help me unlock the door, though they see that my arms are full. What am I to do? Self-confidence and patience won’t help me with loan-repayment. Must I settle in a ten-year job I hate just to pay the bills when I could just do what I love, which is continue writing, if only I could share it with someone other than my jump drive device?
For we who are 22 could use a bit more help and less advice in our lives. I have four years of University and a degree worth of advice from the world’s best scholars and writers, etc. What I need, being currently 22 with six books that no one wants to help publish, is not more words, not more encouragement or people telling me to stick with it, that I can publish the books if I just hold out, or to work a job outside of my interest, just to at least start paying back loans that I cannot afford. What we, the current generation of 22-year-olds, need is not our parents and the prior generations telling us to live and be young, or simply telling us what to do or to believe and hold out. What we need is a bit more than faith in our abilities or that everything will turn out right. Surely, we have that. What we need is someone who has walked the path we are currently treading upon to give us a hand up, not a hand out. Help us to achieve our goals, don’t simply tell us that we can.