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C., the daughter of Bernice (née Gordon), a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Lawrence Henson, a janitor and metal fabricator.
Henson received her SAG membership card in the early 1990s for doing 3 roles as a background performer (extra).
Henson will play Till's mother, Mamie, who chose an open-casket funeral for her son "so everyone can see what they did to my boy".
Henson has guest-starred on several television shows, including The WB's Smart Guy, the Fox series House in 2005, and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006. Henson has also been a cast member on several television shows, including Lifetime's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal for one season.
In 2011 Henson starred as Tiffany Rubin in the Lifetime Movie Network film Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.
Though it did not receive a majority of positive reviews, the film was a commercial success.
In 2016, Henson starred in the film Hidden Figures, a major box-office success nominated for numerous awards, including three Oscars (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer) and two Golden Globes (Best Supporting Actress for Spencer and Best Original Score).
It won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
That year, she released a New York Times best selling autobiography titled Around the Way Girl.