Phylicia Rashad


Jamya Members

Phylicia Rashad is an African American actress and director who grew up with a father who was an orthodontist and a mother who was a writer.

The journalism students at School 43 were invited to meet her at the JW Marriott Hotel on May 9 when she visited Indianapolis. We were able to do that thanks to School 43 alumnus Matthew Steward. He is president of the Steward Speaker Series, which brought Ms. Rashad to the city.

Our journalism class was the only middle school in attendance. The other students were from Ben Davis High School and IUPUI.

Students in the class worked hard preparing questions for her visit. Classmates Aundrielle Davidson and Randall McKnight were able to ask questions. She encouraged Randall not to be nervous.

Ms. Rashad, her siblings, and parents moved to Mexico as she was growing up to get a fresh new start in life. She speaks Spanish fluently.

After returning to the United States, she graduated from high school and Howard University.

As she grew older she has appeared in many plays, movies and television shows and she also won several awards, including a Tony Award for best actress for her role in “A Raisin in the Sun. Most people remember her as “Claire Huxtable” from the Cosby Show. Our class remembers her from the television series “Empire.”

Our journalism class learned a lot listening to Ms. Rashad. She encouraged us to read the classics, follow our dreams and learn from our mistakes.

Ms. Rashad learned to never give up and stand up for herself.  She was once an understudy who believed she could have been the main character, so she turned down the position. She said she worked hard to be in the position she is today.

Afterwards, we had an opportunity to have our picture taken with her and some of us were able to hug her.

Our journalism class were thankful that we got to meet a star.