- Is a member of the Gamma Psi chapter of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
- Played Ariel, opposite Patrick Stewart's Prospero, in the New York Shakespeare Festival's 1995 production of The Tempest.
- Was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in the 2000 film Men of Honor.
- Received the Rising Star Award from Delta Sigma Theta in 2010.
- 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2015, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series: Nominee
- Attended Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi, United States; Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States (BA in African-American Studies, 1992); New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY, United States (MA in Acting)