Taraji P. Henson has inked a new tell all memoir of her life story that involves love, regret with her child’s father, her personal story on how she made it and even how she won her role as Cookie on the hit TV series Empire in her new book titled, “Around The Way Girl.”
Growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Maryland, Taraji met the love of her life, William LaMarr Johnson, whom she calls “Mark” in the book. Taraji first laid eyes on Mark outside of a movie theater in Maryland at the tender age of 17. Upon laying eyes on Mark, she knew that she wanted him forever.
In book (out on October 11th), she wrote that Mark was like most young, black men in America – trapped. Black men who had no skills to go to college and struggled to find a job. They eventually hooked up, but Mark warned Taraji she was too good for him.
“You’re better than me,” she recalled him saying to her. “You need to leave me alone.”
She responded, “We’re going places. I love you. We can do this together. I won’t let you fail,” she said while wrapped in his arms.
That wasn’t enough to keep Mark. They broke up and Mark ended up fathering two children with other women.
Taraji and Mark eventually rekindled their love while she was studying theater at Howard University. The young college student ended up getting pregnant with their son, Marcell, and life was good, at least for the time being.
Once Marcell came into their lives, things took a turn for the worst. With the stress of being new parents, working odd jobs and Mark’s hotheaded temper, Mark ended up hitting her during a heated argument about him staying out all hours of the night.
“The next thing I knew, Mark’s balled-up fist was coming straight for my face, she recalled in the book. “I fell onto the bed crying and holding my mouth; blood seeped off my lips and across my teeth. Droplets splashed across my shoes … slowly creeping into the fibers of my suede boots.”
That was the end of their relationship.
“This is over!,” she yelled. “Get your sh*t and get out!” She adds, “With that separation, my forever man, my first love, was no more.”
Mark was pretty much absent from her and their son’s lives, but she recalls one Christmas day when Mark and her son was playing tic-tac-toe. She said Marcell grew angry after he lost, in which his father placed his hand on his shoulder and said, “Use your head, black man.”
Three weeks later, she got a call from Mark’s mother where she broke the news that he had been killed.
Taraji doesn’t get into details about how Mark died, but he reportedly was stabbed to death after a confrontation over slashed tires at the age of 34. Sad.
The Oscar nominated actress also opened up about how her father tried to kidnap her. The Daily Mail give up the details reporting:
The actress was just four years old when the father she adored dragged his wife, Bernice, into his car, threatening to kill her.
The only thing that saved the terrified woman from being dragged down the street, with her body hanging out of the car, was the quick-thinking action of her sister who snatched the keys from the ignition.
Bernice then took her young daughter and hid out where she thought Boris wouldn’t think to look for them – with his sister at her house in a small Maryland town.
But in less than a week he found them, raging and pounding at the door. ‘Taraji! Come see your daddy!’ he bellowed.
The little girl was in a back room, scrambling to find her shoes to run to her father. But the door held and her mother found her there and gathered her up in her arms. They’d escaped once again.
Happily, her father eventually straightened out and became a major source of support in her life. But by then Henson was a young woman.
Are you going to buy the book?