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‘I Want to Break Generational Curses’: Fantasia, Who Once Struggled with Illiteracy, Enrolls at HBCU Central State University to Study Business

Grammy Award-winning singer Fantasia has enrolled at Central State University, one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to “break generational curses,” she says.

NEWARK, NJ – AUGUST 26: Singer-songwriter Fantasia Barrino performs on stage during the 2018 Black Girls Rock! at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on August 26, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)

The 2004 “American Idol” winner is studying business education at the Ohio-based institution that was founded in 1856. It is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the oldest Black-administered institutions of higher education in the nation.

In-state tuition for the school is $7,596 per year.

Off to College

Fantasia told People Magazine that her intentions are to better herself as a businesswoman and to be an inspiration to her three children: Dallas Xavier, 11; daughter Zion Quari, 21; and infant daughter Keziah, who will turn two in May. 

“I’m a businesswoman now and I desire to continue to sharpen my sword and better my craft,” Fantasia told People Magazine. “I want to break generational curses. When it comes to my family, my girls, my children, I want to show them that no matter what she’s been through, you can always get back and go after it again, and that’s what I am doing.”

Fantasia’s checkered history with education once loomed over her career. Fantasia, whose full name is Fantasia Barrino, did not complete her high-school education, having dropped out in the ninth grade. However, she later earned her GED in 2009.

She has also shared her struggles with being illiterate in the past. During her heyday on TV, she kept it a secret that she could not read or write before overcoming illiteracy, ABC News reported. Fantasia’s mother also struggled with illiteracy.

Career Minded

Fantasia won the third season of “American Idol” in 2004, and launched her career by releasing several successful albums, including “Free Yourself,” “Back to Me,” and “The Definition Of…,” and winning several awards, including a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song “Bittersweet.”

The artist, with an estimated net worth of $5 million, is not a stranger to hardships.

Despite her lack of formal education, Fantasia has achieved considerable success in her career, but she told People that her ambitions for higher education are about setting an example.

“I want to be the example, I want to use my platform, my social media, to show people — men, women, Black, white, young, old — that if you have a dream, it doesn’t have to have a timeline,” she told the magazine. “It doesn’t have to look a certain way and, in fact, looks better when it has a bunch of bruises and scars because that means you fought for it.”

She added, “My grandmother used to tell me anything worth having is worth fighting for and I want other people to see that if you just stay in the ring, you’ll get to where you’re going.”

In an Instagram video announcement, the singer thanked “@nataliemichelleturner @dbrown189 for connecting me with the amazing staff at Central State,” and teased the possibility of making an appearance at the university’s homecoming in October.

Sorority Girl

In November 2022 the R&B artist became an honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

“Y’all have no idea how long I been waiting to share this news!! I’ve officially been inducted as an Honorary #SigmaGammaRho #D9 #sorority #prettypoodle THANK YOU… I am overjoyed,” Fantasia posted on her Instagram account on Nov. 29, 2022, along with a video of her at the exclusive induction ceremony during the sorority’s Centennial Founders’ Month.

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