Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson encouraged Howard University graduates to rely on their faith to help them overcome fear as they venture out into the world to chart their own path.
Henson who graduated from Howard University in 1995, gave the commencement address to the class of 2022, emphasizing the importance of faith.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. It just means your faith is bigger than that fear,” the “Hidden Figures” star said at the commencement ceremony on May 7.
“Because fear is there to distract you. That’s its only purpose. It makes you waste time,” Henson added. “Fear makes you spin your wheels trying to figure out if you belong.”
Henson, who's also an advocate of mental health services in the African American community through her foundation, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, added: “Our faith is not static. Faith is whatever it means to you. It’s a moving powerful force if we take it out of the background and put it in the center of our lives.”
The famous director and producer was also recently appointed by President Joe Biden to join the White House HBCU Initiative advisory board.
Ahead of the commencement address, Henson said she was "honored" to return to the university to give the commencement address.
“Returning to Howard always feels like coming home, and I cannot wait to share this incredible moment with Howard students as they prepare to take the next step in their journeys to success,” she said in a statement.
Henson was also in the news this week for sharing her pro-choice views on abortion, something many Christians are staunchly against.
In an interview with The Root she advocated for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, and said pregnant women should have the right to abort their preborn babies, admonishing states that have enacted pro-life laws by saying, "Hell no, take your bans of our bodies."
Her comments come after Politico obtained a leaked draft opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, indicating that a majority of justices seem inclined to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The 1973 ruling usurped states' abortion laws and legalized the killing of babies nationwide.
In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, Henson discussed race relations and said that a Christian's role is to work to defuse any conflict that's around them. "If you're a person of Christ, and if you are a Christian, then that's what you do — that's what Jesus did. Jesus was nailed to a cross by people who hated Him, resurrected, and still loved those same people. So you have to tap into that if you are truly a Christian,” she said.
"When we talk about love, we talk about God's love," she added. "It's unconditional and love is the search for understanding,” Henson continued. “So even the person you hate, if you want change you can't match it with hate, or else nothing's going to change. Someone has to rise above and tap into love."
The actress also previously spoke to CP about how her Christian faith has impacted her career.
"It has definitely kept me sane and continues to keep me sane because I know how I got here,” she testified.
“I moved to California with $700 in my pocket with my son and a dream and faith," Henson said. "And every time a door would close, I would pray to God, like, 'I know you've got a plan for me because I'm still here.' There's a plan for me, and I believe in that."
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic