#TJFBHM18: Susan Kelechi Watson: Howard University Alum & Actress

Born to Jamaican parents, Watson obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Howard University and master’s degree from the Tisch School of the Arts.

During her time at Howard, Watson was presented with the rare opportunity to study Shakespeare at Oxford in London. The $5,000 cost made the trip impossible. She reached out to actress and fellow Howard alum, Phylicia Rashad, who approached Denzel Washington about combining their resources to send her and 9 of her classmates to Oxford.

About the experience, Watson said “They didn’t have many minority students, much less people from a historically black university go, so we were one of the inaugural groups to go.” “I’m happy to say [Denzel] paid for my scholarship, and we went and had this amazing summer that changed all of our lives,” she said.

Watson has had roles on various television shows including Louie, NCIS, The Following and The Blacklist. Since 2016, she has starred in the hit NBC series This Is Us.

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.