BIPOC Voices

Shout out to Howard University and its most influential alumni

Black excellence at its finest.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Sep 7, 2022

With the racial reckoning of 2020, a long stream of actors and actresses that represent it, and the countless songs and movies that reference the state-of-the-art college, chances are, you have heard of Howard University. And, if you’re Black or a POC, you know how much weight Howard holds in the culture. HU is one of the biggest and most known historically Black university (it played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement), and an extremely competitive place for graduates. In fact, the school produces the most Black doctorates of any non-profit university in the nation.


People who attend Howard are well-respected and loved for their effort to uplift the Black community. Not to mention, Homecoming at Howard is where you can see Diddy, Jay-Z, and other flawless Black stars give some of the best performances you’ll ever witness. Growing up, I remember always hearing about Howard, and I dreamed of going to an HBCU to live my life. It is the place to be, and often a place where you will find your spouse. It is connected in every aspect to high society, and people who attend enjoy their time to the fullest. In fact, there isn’t a single alum I know who didn’t enjoy their time there.


Entertainment aside, Howard University is a place that births amazing scholars. The faculty has been in their respective industries, often leading and paving the way for people of color, for decades. Their real life experience is something that you can only get from a professor who has seen some things. Which brings me to my next point, the mentorship at Howard. It’s next level.


The university’s mentors understand how difficult it is for people of color to make the same wages as white people and how discrimination and politics are working against us. They get that society wasn’t meant for us, and how to encourage students to find their own way and create their own path. The professors want to give back to the community.


They also teach you how important it is to, as Michelle Obama would say, “send the letter back down.” Meaning, they raise you up, not just so you can experience glory and success, but so you understand what it is to have someone in your corner, guiding and giving you the space to celebrate your achievements. They set this example so mentees can then be an example to others.


While many civil rights leaders have come out of the establishment, there are tons of famous celebrities that went to Howard that are worth noting:


Kamala Harris

Chadwick Boseman

Lance Gross

Taraji P. Henson

Wendy Robinson

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Toni Morrison (The best poet ever)

Phylicia Rashad

Debbie Allen

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

Anthony Anderson

LaLa Anthony

Marlon Wayans

Congressman Elijah Cummings


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Photo via Tyrone Turner/DCist/WAMU