I, Tika: The beautiful actress on motherhood, a young FLOTUS and representing

Words: Ronda Racha Penrice; Images: DeWayne Rogers; MUA: Malika James; Hair: Kee Taylor; Stylist: Jason Bolden

Tika Sumpter is expecting her first child in October and she’s never looked more radiant. Dressed in a striped shirt hugging her belly, with a sweater tied under her bundle, and stylish black pants, she is as alluring as ever. Her smile is even more warm and inviting.

She’s in Atlanta, seated with KISS 104.1’s Sasha the Diva minutes after the screening of her latest film, Southside With You, about the Obamas’ first date in Chicago in 1989. As the two chat and field questions from the audience, Sumpter lights up. Not only does she play Michelle Robinson, as the first lady was then known, but she also produced Southside With You, coming on board roughly two years ago. So this is her baby, too. 

“I was given the synopsis to this movie. It wasn’t written. The script wasn’t written, but I loved the perspective it came from and I loved, first of all, that we’ve never seen them on screen at 25, 28 years old and the origin story of their relationship. So when the screenwriter wrote the movie, I was blown away by it and said, ‘We have to get this made,’ ” Sumpter explained in response to a young lady’s question about her involvement.

“It was nice to see us on screen falling in love and having a strong woman who is actually the prize in a film,” Sumpter added.

A few days later, speaking to rolling out as she waited to board a flight, Sumpter is even more candid about what the role of Southside With You’s Michelle Robinson means to her, especially as she prepares for her daughter’s arrival.

She said, “It’s actually inspiring. I hope one day my daughter looks at this and says, ‘Mommy you promoted this film with me inside of you and you were as strong as the person you played.’ I took a lot away from Michelle Robinson and Michelle Obama so I hope every little girl and more ladies will be at this film and gain strength from it because I definitely have.”

As we continue to bear witness to countless #BlackGirlMagic moments, we can’t forget Sumpter. Her presence on the big and the small screen has meant so much, especially for all the brown girls so unaccustomed to seeing themselves in any of the many roles Sumpter has played since she showed up on “One Life to Live” as Layla Williamson in the mid-2000s. She kept us intrigued as Raina Thorpe on “Gossip Girl” and then we fell in love with her as Malik Wright’s love interest, Jenna Rice, on “The Game.”

And we’ve cheered her on as she started making even bigger moves: Playing one of the daughters of Whitney Houston’s character Emma in the Sparkle remake; Ice Cube’s sister and Kevin Hart’s love interest Angela Payton in Ride Along; one of James Brown’s lovers, Yvonne Fair, in Get on Up; one of the Empress of the Blues’ lesbian loves Lucille in “Bessie”; and, perhaps her biggest coup to date, Candace Young on OWN’s guilty pleasure, “The Haves and the Have Nots” from Tyler Perry.

“It’s always fun to play something that you’re not usually offered,” she says of playing Candace. But not even she anticipated the huge reception Candace would receive.

“I thought people were going to hate me because I was like, ‘She is nuts, this girl,’ ” she confesses. “But the crazy thing is the opposite happened and everybody loved her. Whether you love to hate her or whatever or you just love her, whatever side that you love, [the fans] have taken Candace, embraced her and hugged her up. They just love her.”

Playing Candace has been good for Sumpter. The intense fan reception has emboldened her. “It just makes me want to do more and play more complex roles. It makes me want to do more but I think it definitely says that I can lead a show where I can be a leading lady, that I can do all [these] things and do them well,” she says.

And now she’s Michelle Robinson, which she says is different from the FLOTUS we now know. “Michelle Obama is like a complete person right now. At 25, you’re still figuring yourself out. You know the things you want, but you’re still changing your mind about other things. You’re still discovering,” she explains. “And I’m sure she’s still discovering now, but I’m sure she knows who she is as a full grown woman. But, at 25, you’re flexible and you’re open to a lot of things. You’re learning about life still. You don’t know everything, so that was fun for me to create that.”

DSC03086-1

The Queens, New York-born beauty doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be an actress. “I just wanted it,” she recalls. “I wanted it really bad. It made me happy to act. It made me happy to be in another place and to do the arts and what it does for other people. It makes you feel something. It makes other people feel something. So I really wanted to be a part of that.”

But there are limits. Sumpter loves the fans and she’s very giving but she definitely believes in saving a lot for herself. “I’m really selfish with my life,” she declares with no guilt. “You want to share some aspects of your life. But, for me, I can’t give everything because then I have nothing to come home to and to have for myself and my family. And I need to store up on that love and all that stuff, in order to create, in order to act.

“Sometimes when you let everybody in your business, I think it makes relationships harder than they need to be,” she continues. “Relationships are already tough. Raising kids is already tough. And then having somebody say something crazy or spread a rumor or say something that’s not nice and hurts your spirit — that I can’t deal with. And that’s why I’m very protective of my peace. I’m protective of my private life. Even getting pregnant, people are just now finding out, but it’s something that I wanted to keep for me and enjoy it for a while. And then I was like, ‘OK, cool here you go’ and I couldn’t hide it anymore,” she laughs, adding a little more levity to her tone.

Motherhood, she knows, is serious business, especially raising a young lady. As she prepares for it and the responsibility of living a life for something much greater than herself, she ponders the images her daughter will see and the example she, herself, will set for her. “I just want her to see images of strength out there and of women who are doing something with themselves. I want to be able to dictate something about the images that my daughter will see and also [for her to] look up to me as a great mom and a great woman that she would want to one day hopefully be like,” she reveals.

DSC02925-1

She credits her self-confidence to her own mother. Although she knows that other women her complexion have struggled with it, her mother never made any of her children’s skin tone an issue. Instead, she filled Tika and her other children with pride and a love of self that fuels Sumpter to this day.

“I never walked into this world thinking somebody is going to judge me for my skin tone. I think the only time that happens is when other people bring it up. For me, I was so naïve thinking, ‘Well, of course, they would want me, so I’m going to go to this audition.’ Kids think they’re great until a few adults tell them, ‘Oh [they’re] not.’ They walk into a room with confidence until somebody says something negative and I just didn’t grow up like that so I didn’t think negatively about myself. I never thought my skin tone was a problem. You know I liked myself. I love myself,” she says with passion.

“When I do hear of colorism, I try to help women to see that their beauty is inside themselves,” she continues. “That’s why it’s important for images to be out there that are positive. If I don’t see an image of myself in a magazine constantly, I don’t buy it. I don’t feed into what somebody else thinks is beautiful because, if you constantly just see that and you don’t see yourself in any of the pages, then, of course, you’re going to start thinking, ‘Well, what’s wrong with me?’ Images are important, but, also, it starts in the household.”

And for many of her fans, whether seeing Tika Sumpter on the big screen as Michelle Robinson in Southside With You or on the small screen as bad girl Candace Young in “The Haves and the Have Nots,” the #BlackGirlMagic she naturally embodies has made a big difference in their lives.

cover_Tika_web

In an exclusive interview with 'rolling out,' John Legend talks 'Southside With You.'

Browse our latest covers
  • Sol Rothstein

    I cannot CONDONE this BASTARD MAKER…sorry this is UNACCEPTABLE Behavior, from Tika. Get married and do it right or YOU WILL BE — OUTED.

    Bastard babies have got to STOP in Black America….SHE IS TRASH and used.

    • Veronica Griffin

      Who are you talking about calling people unborn children bastards? She won’t have to ask you or anyone else for help for the care of her child. Angelina Jolie had several bastards for Brad Pitt, did you commented on that. Took Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston nobody said a word. You obviously don’t have a life, jealous or use be don’t know all the white children born out of wedlock.

      • Sol Rothstein

        That child is a BASTARD…you BLACK WHORES, need to stop having all these Black BASTARDS…

        Stop it…

        • Veronica Griffin

          YOU TALKING ALL THAT SHIT ONLINE. FINE THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN YOU SEE TODAY AND TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL. STOP HIDING BEHIND SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELL ANY BLACK WOMAN HOW BAD YOU ARE AND TEND TEXT ME BACK 😂😂😃😃😃😂 SHE WILL BEAT YOUR ASS! DON’T FORGET TO TEXT ME BACK!

          • Sol Rothstein

            You BLACK STRUMPETS need to be controlled.

            BLACK WOMEN have ruined BLACK AMERICA via BASTARDS, and Violence.

            TODAY Koreans are BILLIONAIRES because of BLACK WOMEN…up here buying WINGS, WIGS, and Weave…to the tune of $500 Billion dollars a YEAR…

            NOW you know why BLACK AMERICA is gone.

          • Veronica Griffin

            What the fuck it is too you. They’re not asking your nasty ass for a mother fucking thing. Bitch, you a hater! With your funky ass.

          • Sol Rothstein

            Hating of what? BLACK WOMEN have a net worth of $4.99…FACT

            1. Black women don’t want to be BLACK…Skin Bleaching to the MAXX

            2. Wearing WHITE WOMEN Hair weave…to the tune of 500 Billion dollars.

            3. Pussy stank like JOE’S Crab Shack.

            4. BASTARD BABY makers to the level of 72% of out of wedlock

            5. YOU — Nasty BLACK BITCHS got stds/herpes/Hiv/Aids to the tune of 1/2 of all you BLACK WOMEN are infected.

            What the hell do I as a married BLACK MAN have to be jealous of you FUCKING NASTY bitchs.

            Go get your head checked.

          • Veronica Griffin

            One thing black woman don’t need anti wrinkle cream. You sorry white bitch. A black man used your ass and he left you for a black woman and your sorry ass mad with the world.

          • Sol Rothstein

            Dick face, I am a Black Male JEW.

            That is my wife in the picture. She is a former Ad model…AGAIN if you can read…

            STOP arguing online and get your homeless WHITE MAN –

            – Ghetto Gaggers still waiting on your SWEET BOOTYHOLE and Deep Tiny BLACK Throat. Yuck…

            Do you and keep BEGGING for WHITE DNA…

          • Regina562
          • Sol Rothstein

            You are just like I figured…

            Just another NEGRO FUCK WENCH doing what she does…bothering GOOD BLACK MEN…

          • KevMc

            Don’t know why you would engage this troll. Whoever they are it’s obvious they are sick and looking for attention. Came here to view comments on an actress I’m a huge fan of and the thread is filled with this bs.

    • Veronica Griffin

      I just can’t get over this comment by you. Jessica Simpson, Adele, Nicole Richie, Kourtney Kardashian, Michele Williams and Kristen Bell all had children out of wedlock. As a married woman of 15 years, I would never call their children bastards. Somebody will bust you in your mouth for talking like that. You better say it on social media because if you tell that to someone face to face, you will be on CNN.

      • Likewaterforchoc

        He’s a white troll. He even has 2 accounts (the other is Nigg Newton). That’s how pressed black people, especially black women have him.

        • Veronica Griffin

          If you have to call another person a name because of the color of their skin, that says how much self-esteem you have about yourself, more or less, you are pathetic. But when you die and face God on judgment day, explain to him why you hate the black race so much because if he only wanted one race he would have done so. Because if you go to heaven which I doubt, there is black people and if you go to hell you will be black because you will burn for the hatred you have in your heart. You need Jesus!

      • Sol Rothstein

        Dick licker…

        NOT one of them WHITE WOMEN you wrote about asking for CHILD SUPPORT, Welfare, or a HANDOUT…

        NOW in 10 yrs this BLACK STRUMPET will be on WELFARE, begging for CHILD SUPPORT and looking for a go fund me.

        DUMMY !!!

        • Veronica Griffin

          How you know who is going to be begging in ten years. I guess you’re God and know people future in ten years. So, you trying to say this woman who has a very successful career and has starred in several movies and one of the star on the Have and Have Not will be on welfare. You are so stupid, whatever you smoking please go and clean out your bong. Because you are a poor representation of the white race with your hatred. There are many successful African American women such as Oprah Winfrey, Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Regina King and some who are single parents that have never been on welfare. I myself am a Registered Nurse of 22 years and have 2 college degrees and starting on my doctorate in family nurse practitioner on September 12th. Married for 15 years and my husband works for Emerson as a instrumentation analysis. Just as long as they don’t have to ask your broke ass for anything. If you have a picture of yourself in underwear as your profile picture all you have to offer is your dead ass, that’s say a lot, that you don’t have shit to offer no man. You sound like you’re jealous because she is where you want to be in life.

          • Sol Rothstein

            I know who is GOING TO BE BEGGING for welfare, because it’s happened 1000’s of times before in the past.

            NOW BLACK BITCH…stop the lies and get your ass off my comments.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Three black batches me, you and the black bitch that wasted a fuck and bought your bitch ass in this world. You must have wanted to fuck a black man mighty bad and his big black Dick until you hate black woman. Bitch you sorry!

          • Sol Rothstein

            You are a really, GHETTO HOOD DIVA…I bet you spend 80% of your time on your knees fucking, sucking, and gagging..hehe

            Ghetto GAGGER…be gone…

            Up here DICK LICKING for a living and you ain’t making no MONEY…whore

          • Veronica Griffin

            No wrinkle bitch. I’m educated. You have to pose have nakenja for attention. With your sorry ass.

          • Sol Rothstein

            Veronica Vagina “aka” SWEET — BOOTYHOLE…let it go !!!

          • Veronica Griffin

            Fuck you. That’s what your trashy ass lock for that’s why white people die from analysis cancer. Yall dumb bitches are mass murderers

          • Sol Rothstein

            What about BLACK ON BLACK Crime…

            Speak on that…

            D. Wade cousin can’t even walk her BASTARD BABIES without getting bullets slammed into her head…

            Black on BLACK CRIME is what your ass need to be worried about and not ME…now FUCK OFF.

          • Veronica Griffin

            No bitch you on your mother fucking knees, have to pose have naked for attention

          • Sol Rothstein

            Whore shut your mouth…That’s my WIFE !!! Dick face, I told you I don’t do BLACK WOMEN/Whores.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Your raggedy ass jealous.

          • Sol Rothstein

            Jealous of a BLACK WHORE…only you BLACK WHORES, are too stupid to know…YOU LOST your BLACK MEN, to white women.

            Black men have OPTIONS outside of BLACK WOMEN…aka NON-Black women.

            NOBODY checkin’ for BLACK WOMEN except homeless men doing GHETTO GAGGERS…Black women are bottom of the barrel females…all races of men know this. (The Swirl is over.)

          • Veronica Griffin

            No, my husband of 15 years only like black women because we don’t get wrinkles at the age of 30.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Black men only stay with white bitch because all yall good for is sucking Dicks. Prune faced hoe!

          • Sol Rothstein

            YOU too busy letting ALL MEN buss in your PUSSY…and carrying BASTARDS…please wash your PUSSY…it reeks.

            LOOK IT UP NIGGA…

          • Veronica Griffin

            Yall the white mother Fulkerson that needs shampoo for lice and crabs nasty asses

          • Sol Rothstein

            I will take the CRABS, and Lice…you keep the HERPES, AIDS, STDS…and BASTARD BABIES…whores will be whore…

          • Veronica Griffin

            You probably a bastard. Your parents still married

          • Sol Rothstein

            FUCK STICK worry about your BASTARD SEED, not me.

          • Veronica Griffin

            No unlike your trifling ass I have a husband and?

          • Sol Rothstein

            FUCK OFF…whore..

          • Sol Rothstein

            Leave me alone — DICK LICKER. I don’t want your BLACK NAPPY NAPPY !!!

          • Veronica Griffin

            Because you can’t get that black dick that dump you 😂😂😂😂😂

    • Karen Hardison

      I flagged this comment as offensive

      • Sol Rothstein

        So you CONDONE, all these BLACK BASTARD Children…Did you hear about

        Dwayne Wade’s cousin being shot…

        She was shot and KILLED by a BLACK BASTARD male child. No father in his life, now a GOOD BLACK WOMAN is dead, because another BLACK WOMAN had a bastard child.

        Please flag these BLACK WOMEN and their deviant actions. YOU BLACK WHORES have Zero pride, morals, or ethics. But try to tell others what’s right or wrong…

        Just shut up.

        • Veronica Griffin

          You’re talking about Dwayne Wade cousin being shot. Hmm! Sandy Hooks murders, Batman movies in Colorado and then the man booby trapped his apartment to kill policemen, Oklahoma city murders was the first terrorist attack on US soil by Timothy McVeigh who SUCCEED, Columbine murders, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Green River murders, Virginia Tech college murders, Ohio state university one white student kill several people because he failed out of college, how that young white boy had a gun went to an all black church and the people in church prayed for him and he turned around and killed them and police officer took him to Burger King. Well in jail black men will rape his ass and give him the broom handle on top of that when he dies he’s going to hell for killing people in church who had prayed for him.

          • Sol Rothstein

            So you do condone all these BASTARD BLACK BABIES…

            THIS woman was a mother of four (4) Bastards and another one on the way…NO FATHER(s) in the picture…she was a STRUMPET !!!

          • Veronica Griffin

            What the fuck it is to you. They have more than what your funky white ass have. You must have wanted a black man’s Dick and couldn’t get it or he used your stupid white ass.

          • Sol Rothstein

            YOU are the most ignorant — Negro FUCK WENCH online…bitch be gone.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Wrinkled face hag. Cracker FUCK! You be gone. THAT WHAT IS WAS YOU WANTED BLACK DICK AND COULDN’T GET IT 😂😂😂😂😂😂

          • Sol Rothstein

            YOU foul, loud, VIOLENT, Vulgar, and Vile — Black City APE…Go back to the CITY and claim your concrete JUNGLE…aka Section-8, Affordable housing WHORE.

          • Veronica Griffin

            You mother fucking momma comes from the jungle. You raggedy wrinkle face cunt! 😂😂😂😂😂 You mad because a black man don’t want your wrinkle ass face

          • Sol Rothstein

            You a SAVAGE…isn’t that what BLACK MEN call you WHORES…

            Just go get your free SNAP CARD and OBAMMA phone.

            Please sit DOWN…whore.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Kiss my mother fucking ass. That’s why yall be full of crabs and licensed nasty anti bathing bitches

          • Sol Rothstein

            I bet you smoke DICKS at night don’t you…I BET your several lovers have pink dick syndrome..you know, sucking dick too violently to the point his dick RAW…yuck..

            BLACK STRUMPET…do you, but leave me the fuck alone…I don’t want your BLACK NAPPY NAPPY…

            You Pussy smells like Joe’s CRAB Shack…

          • Veronica Griffin

            In closing fuck you white hillbilly bitch

          • Sol Rothstein

            No how about you WASH YOUR PUSSY, end the bastardization of BLACK AMERICA, and GET YOUR ASS married.

            NOW FUCK OFF.

          • Sol Rothstein

            Shut up FUCKER !!!

            Ya pussy rotten like OLD DICK and Smelly Tuna.

          • Veronica Griffin

            Bitch I have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and start my doctorate in family nurse practitioner on September 12th ✌

          • Sol Rothstein

            You stupid…YOU CANNOT have a Bachelors of Science and go into a PhD., program…DUMB FUCK…you have to have a Masters Degree first.

            NO PROGRAMS offer that, unless you getting a Master dual with a PhD. Based on your Grammar you are too dumb for that shit.

            NOW FUCK OFF…BLACK CITY APE…you ratchet and the Awards about to start…I’m Brittnay BITCH….

          • Veronica Griffin

            Call Texas state Board nursing and ask about me. I’m anot administrative nurse.

          • Sol Rothstein

            GOOGLE is a way to bust you LYING BITCHS…HERE GOES..

            Admission Policy

            Requirements for admission to the MSN program:

            • an application for the family nurse practitioner program submitted

            via the ApplyTexas website, including application fee.

            • bachelor of science in nursing degree from a nationally accredited

            nursing program. Degree must be reflected on transcript at the time

            of application.

            • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in nursing courses

            from an accredited college or university

            • a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during the last

            60 hours of course work (undergraduate/graduate/professional) at

            an accredited college or university

            • completion of an undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of

            C or higher. Course must be completed at the time of application

            and reflected on submitted transcripts.

            • completion of the online departmental application

            • current, unencumbered RN licensure in Texas or other state in

            which the student will complete clinical courses. Submit printed

            license from the state Board of Nursing website.

            • equivalent of one year experience as a RN prior to the application

            deadline for the MSN-FNP program

            • three forms are required from professionals competent to assess the

            applicant’s academic capability and interest in pursuing a career

            as an FNP

            • statement of purpose to persuade the admission committee that you

            are a highly qualified applicant and that they should select you for

            admission to the St. David’s School of Nursing MSN-FNP program

          • WHaleWIllie

            CAme on here ’cause TIka be on my spank bank list. OLe WIllie here has rubbed one off ta her on many lonely nights. MMmmm d’em chocolate uddas all cover’d in ma humpa-junka-bippity-boppitty man juice. D’At all been spoiled!!!

            VEronica GRiffin & SOl ROthstein time ta give in to ya whacko-girl-on-girl cravings. C’Mon munch d’at carpet an get it ova wit’ SOl ever’ytime I read yo pie hole postings I’Se say ta maself “BIatch be betta wit’a serious fistin’ from WHale WIllie” I’Se go extra deep ta tickle da back o’ yo tonsils. SHoulda deep in yo poopy bus station. VEronica, you new to da party. CUm sit on OLe WIllie’s lap. YO can ride ma new ride.. in one hole.. in da otha hole.. all holes accommod’td

            REminds o’ da time CHris ROck and me be back stage at da BET awards. AMba ROse be occupied cause SNoop DOg and his possey be turnin’ her inta bukake paradise. HO be cova’d in brotha juice. BEyonce an’ NIcki MInaj be so turned on d’ey drop d’er drawers. We Be on d’em like hungry monkeys at da zoo. ‘CAuse we bot’ be da sharin’ type we bot’ gots multiple diggin’s at bot’ hunny’s. D’En all o’ da sudden in da corna RIhanna blow d’is huge fart an’ make a big stinkin’ pant load. WE all be so gross’d out niggas be pukin’ all ova da floor.

            I’Se miss CHris. REcent sight’ns be fake. CHeese DOg hog-beast KEvin JAmes roll ova poor cHris wit’ his UPS truck like a nigga rollin’ a fattie.

            EVery’ting make me mad d’ese days. JUst wanna go all compton style on any cracka who look like JOhnny QUest

  • Cathy

    She is just Beautiful. And shame on you all that are talking trash.

marketing automation