Tasha Smith

ESSENCE.COM Sep, 14, 2008

1 of 10 Bobby Quillard / www.quillardinc.com

Tasha credits President Obama’s victory as her newfound motivation.

“President Obama’s election has taught us to stop being paralyzed by excuses and given us a floodgate of hope,” she says. “I’m more daring and going after things that I once thought were not possible.”

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Tasha has a few words of advice for her fellow sisters.

“As Black women, we need to step up our game and heal in our hearts so that we are able to receive and recognize a good man when God sends him, so when we connect we will have the family that God always intended us to have,” she says.

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3 of 10

Says Smith on why she wanted to be apart of the new book “Family Affair:” “I wanted to be a part of the voice of the book and to talk about what family means to the Black community and the empowerment that it gives each of us as individuals to have a home base and sense of belonging.”

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A New Jersey native, Tasha Smith was bit by the acting bug after a brief attempt at stand-up comedy.

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5 of 10 Derek Blanks/www.dblanks.com

Smith stands strong and regal.

“I love opinionated women and Claire wasn’t necessarily that woman,” says Smith of her latest character in the film “The Longshots.” “Some of the other female characters I’ve played in the past would be upset that Claire chose not to speak up on certain things.”

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Sitting pretty, Smith shows her softer side.

“I don’t feel like I get typecast because I know my voice is distinct and I communicate in a specific way,” says Smith. “I love the fact that I can be a voice that Black women identify with. I’m drawn to characters that empower women.”

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8 of 10 Courtesy of Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company

Smith, Jill Marie Jones and Ice Cube share a scene in “The Longshots.” The film is based on the true story of Jasmine Plummer (Keke Palmer) who, at the age 11, became the first female to play in the Pop Warner football tournament in its 56-year history.

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9 of 10 Courtesy of Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company

In “The Longshots,” Smith plays Claire, the mother of young, sports history-maker Jasmine Plummer (Palmer).

Read our exclusive interview with Tasha Smith »

10 of 10 Derek Blanks/www.dblanks.com

Smith, a divorcée, says she’s living her life like it’s golden until she meets Mr. Right.

“I think some women get distracted because they are so caught up in that prowl for a mate,” says Smith. “I’m not trying to run and chase a man as much as I am trying to chase after my destiny.”

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