Most famous for her role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad entered our homes and hearts each week with her loving, and real voice of an attorney, mother and wife. With each year, Phylicia seems to get more elegant, poised and graceful. But if you ask her, she says it was her mother, a poet, who gave her a sense of duty about exploring her full potential. She says, “It’s interesting how you wander through things. Grace is always present, and there comes a time when you really must be conscious of that presence and turn your face to it. Otherwise, you’re just walking blindly through life.”

The Broadway, television and film actress has much to be thankful for besides being a recognizable face. Rashad has grown into an award-winning fixture of what it means to be a successful Black woman in Hollywood. Would she change anything?  As she reflects on her journey, she’s written a letter is to her 21-year-old self about what that Phylicia should do:

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