Taraji Has Our Interest

So I've been watching CBS's Person of Interest (2011), and I have to admit...I like it.

Mind you, I like it now.  The beginning was a little dull for me because my main reason for watching it - Miss Thang right here - wasn't in a whole lot of scenes.  Be that as it may, she looked fabulous in every scene she graced.

Her characterization is quite interesting.  A single mom with a teen son by a deceased soldier, Taraji plays a military interrogator-turned-homicide detective of the NYPD.  She passed the bar, but instead of becoming a lawyer, she went back to being a cop.  While I personally would've preferred she be a snazzy, polished, (childless) single lawyer, I get why she's written as having gone back to being a cop.  Carter's unflinching moral compass one of the focuses of the show; it's one of the reasons Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) choose to work with her.

Taraji was inducted into the infamous Black Girls Club for this role when I got the following email:
Hello, K

Have you heard of this show with Taraji P. Henson in a supporting role. She plays an Iraq war veteran turned NYPD detective in a show called
Person of Interest. I was wondering what you though of it. She doesn't really fall in to the strong black woman stereotype. She's strong, intelliegent and tough, but still vulnerable. She recently got some character development and the main characters, two white males, really value and aim to protect her, especially the one played by Jim Caviziel. She's one of the few people whom he respects and trusts and he protects her with a fierceness. I started shipping those two from day one.

I also noticed that out of all the characters she seems to be the one with mixed reviews. Some fans think that Henson is not believable as a cop. One commenter said they hope that she show doesn't turn into the protect Det. Carter show even though she can hold her own pretty well. There's even an online petition to have her character KILLED OFF. Others, thankfully, like myself LOVED her and want to see her play a greater role.

What is it about black women being protected and valued that sets white fans the hell off?

Did I also mention the show was created by J.J. Abrams. Are we seeing a theme here?
Um...airbrush much?
Coupled with TV Guide's initial negligence towards her character, I almost didn't bother watching the show.  And while I dig JJ Abrams's effort to put more Black women in front of the camera, his most popular choices so far have included Zoe Saldana, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and now Taraji Henson.  See a pattern in his taste in women of color?

But as Taraji garnered more scenes, more lines, and got more invested in the show (or should I say, as the show got more invested in her), POI began to grow on me.  I've spent this whole weekend getting caught up.  I've also noticed that she's developed a strong fan base on the show; there's even quite a few fanfiction writers shipping her with Reese.  In fact, some commenters have remarked that the two characters need to hurry up, have sex, get all that tension out of the way, and then get back to work.  They theorize that the two will be an even better team afterwards.

Which brings up another thing...why isn't Taraji a bigger sex symbol?  She's perfectly gorgeous.  She's already in her early forties and still looks like a woman in her twenties.  When it comes to taking roles, she clearly has an open mind and one hell of an acting range.  So why aren't more magazines slobbering all over this woman?

Muuuuuuuuch more realistic.


  1. I've heard a lot of people call Taraji "Hood" and "Ghetto". In her interviews, I love her Round-the-way-girl attitude. She's very real and down to earth. I ship her with Adam Rodriguez. I saw them in "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" (A neighbor lent me the movie. I can't stomach Tyler Perry)They looked gorgeous together and Adam drooled over her like crazy while promoting the movie!

    I agree, she has amazing range and I've always adored her and Nia Long. There's nothing "Hollywood" about Taraji and that's why I love her so much <3

    1. Indeed. I think this is why she's managed a healthy career in Hollywood - no easy feat, esp. for an actress of color. Taraji says she avoids parties and public events and prefers to hang out with friends at home. Smart move.

  2. I'm pleased to see that the state of the fandom has improved. I remember some fans gushing over some WW that Reese protected in one episode while dutifully ignoring Taraji's beauty. I on the other hand have shipped Reese/Carter from episode 1.

    I think the show has vastly improved by making Carter more important. And I love that she doesn't always agree with Reese or assume that he and Finch are in the right. That is part of why I believe she could be more valuable to the both of them. I wonder if that is the reason so0me fans don't like her: it is not just her blackness, but the fact that she is not subordinate to the WM on the show. She doesn't completely trust them. We all know how much whiteness loves that.

    1. Taraji is difficult to dislike. She's just too fabulous.

  3. "There's even an online petition to have her character KILLED OFF."

    Man, some folks kill me.

    1. I, for one, wasn't surprised.

      That's pretty much the time-honored white reaction to Black people: see 'em; kill 'em.

  4. Taraji looks good but I'm always surprised when black women marvel at how older black women look.

    Now not everyone is that slim, but you'd be hard pressed to find a regular black woman who looks "rode hard and put away wet" at 40, and providing you don't have bad acne, your skin will look amazing for almost your whole life thanks to melanin.

    I think they have to resent her, Sanaa, Kerry, etc. and wonder why they really have looked the same forever as their own women look like hags by 30 (I seriously just don't try to guess white women's ages anymore b/c I'm going to guess 10-15 years older and they'll be upset b/c they think being a size 2 with crows feet makes you look 25).

    I have to give the serious side-eye when they praise the overly knifed up as looking flawless and half their age but ignore how ageless black women are (and if we're being honest, a lot of black women who aren't considered to be conventionally attractive have gorgeous skin but don't get the praise they deserve for looking ageless).

    I mean, Dana Delaney is like 60 and looks it and they have her on a show pretending she's under 40 (and regularly paired with under 40 men as if they are her age, not as if it's a cougar/cub thing), but I saw a piece of a movie where Regina King was playing the mother to an adult son who was getting married. WTF?

    Can Regina get a post too?

    1. Give it time.

      And I wasn't marveling at her agelessness, btw, I was marveling at how she's not a major sex symbol. I mean...look at her.

    2. Well, we both know the answer to that. I mean, I guess it would be bad for business if you had women like her regularly next to their white chronological peers. The white women would be at the plastic surgeon every other day...

      So you have to shut them out from the get go...

  5. Just started watching this show again. As you mentioned, the beginning was quite dull but now that they've begun to incorporate Carter into more of the episodes I'm getting drawn back in. I love the Reese/Carter shipping and hope it continues! Also love Taraji, she can do no wrong in my eyes.

  6. DAYUM!...I think I turned into a lesbian for a hot minute...LOL...Seriously those nude pictures of her are OFF DA CHAIN!

  7. They're all looked simply stunning and an inspiration. I’ve always been a fan of these hottest black girls. http://www.ranker.com/list/the-30-hottest-black-girls-under-40/greg


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