Angelina Jolie announced on Instagram this weekend that Zahara has enrolled in an HBCU and will be going to Spelman College this fall. 


Before that, though, the news had already been circulating on social media because Angelina and Zahara were seen at the Spelman Back 2 School Send-off and Spelman/Morehouse fundraiser. Here’s an example, with a description of how it all went down: 

Big love to Meta Smith in that video for her priorities, lol. She talked about the food before she talked about the celebrity – as it should be! 

As Meta says, after minimal nudging, Angelina joined the crowd for the Electric Slide. You can see that below: 


It’s not unusual for parents to join their kids at college events. What’s unusual, of course, is that she’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But here, Angelina is a mom, with big mom energy – which is what makes this so fun. She’s not electric sliding like a mom trying to live like a student, she’s participating while staying in her lane…and still keeping it cute. 

I have friends who are in this same position, preparing to send their kids off to university, and of course it’s about the student, no doubt, but it’s also an experience for all family members. Universities, at their best, are communities – and what Angelina is doing is what so many families are doing right now and or will be in the coming weeks: joining new communities in connection with their children. With, of course, a healthy distance. 


Zahara will be leaving home soon, she’ll be starting her post-secondary journey in Atlanta, just as her big brother Maddox started his in Seoul. She’s made the decision that this is where she wants to explore her academic future and clearly with the full support of her mother who joined her at the welcome party to meet with others in the same position and hear from those who have been along the same path. As Angelina wrote in her IG post, it’s an honor for her that her daughter is now a “Spelman girl”. 

This, then, isn’t just a mom’s pride – it’s also platform. Angelina Jolie is supporting Historically Black Universities and Colleges. First of all, she wouldn’t have put Zahara up on her page if she didn’t have her sign-off (even someone as famous as Angelina has to seek picture approval from a teenager) but also, as we have seen Zahara at Angelina’s side pushing for social change, they both understand the power of their profiles – and in this case they’re using it to highlight the value and significance of HBCUs in the American education system.