Tracee Ellis Ross Set To Receive Honorary Doctorate From Spelman College


May 5, 2023

She’s getting her flowers!

Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of iconic singer Diana Ross and an award-winning actress with a career spanning nearly three decades, Blavity reports. The star of two critically acclaimed series, ABC’s black-ish and UPN’s Girlfriends, Ross is a well known staple in Black culture. She has earned a Golden Globe Award and nine NAACP Image Awards for her work on black-ish. Now Ross is being celebrated for her contributions, set to receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Spelman College. 

“What a lovely honor. Excited to be a Spelmanite!,” Ross wrote in the comments of Spelman’s Instagram account announcing the honor.  


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This will be another accolade added to her long list of acknowledgements and awards. In addition to her onscreen work, Ross is also the founder of PATTERN, a haircare brand aimed at supporting people with curlier textured hair. She has been at the forefront of conversations around representation in media and diversity in the industry, also serving as the executive producer and narrator of Hair Tales, a docuseries that explores the relationship between Black women’s identities and their hair. 


“This series is about identity, culture and legacy, beauty, strength, and joy. Hair is a portal into the souls of Black women; it drives straight to the center of who we are. Our goal is to share this vibrant community, where we hold a sacred space for each other. Like many women, I can trace my own journey to self-acceptance through my hair. This series is personal and universal, American and global. It is a love letter to Black women,” Ross said of the OWN debuted docuseries.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will deliver the keynote at the May 21st commencement ceremony. Ross will receive her degree alongside this year’s class of 468 graduating students. For more information on the festivities, visit www.spelman.edu.

Cover photo: Tracee Ellis Ross set to receive honorary doctorate from Spelman College/Photo Courtesy of Kwaku Alston/Getty Images


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