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Thomasina Petrus was born on this date in 1970. She is a Black actress, singer, dancer, and entrepreneur.
Petrus's parents’ family was from Charleston, MS. Her grandmother raised her father and his five siblings. They picked cotton and had little schooling before cumming up North to Minneapolis, MN, where Thomasina was born. Her father, Hugh, joined the military when her mother, Patricia, was pregnant with Petrus’s sister Jean who is a year older (she has another sister Joyi).
The family lived in Germany, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. Her immediate family lived a typical military life, moving every few years and losing touch with friends. This was very hard on Petrus and her sister, though every week in those army years, she would win the Military Base dance contest.
After her parents separated, her mother and daughters moved back to Minnesota. Financially strapped, they spent most of their time with her dad's family. Her Granny "Fat" and Aunt Allen were the center of their early years and a true touchstone while her mother worked to get stability.
Petrus and her sister were enrolled in many dances, gymnastics, and sports programs. Petrus started singing publicly at three in the “Little Miss Black Minnesota” pageant. Her first exposure to sharpen herself as an entertainer came after seeing JeVetta Steele perform the “Aretha Franklin Show” and the age of 12.
Also, as an adolescent, Petrus learned her mother had been in a band as a bass player and singer when she was a teenager. In 1985, Thomasina sang with Cornbread Harris (Jimmy Jam Harris’ father). Her first professional performance was in 1987 in the Penumbra Theater production of "Black Nativity," an annual play produced every Christmas by this Black theater.
She self-studied voice and theater with many musicians and artists in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area as her mentors. Petrus has also performed in an annual Mixed Blood Theater “Daughters of Africa” show for more than 15 years. Petrus married in 1996 to her husband Charles, and they have two sons, Charles Jr. and Kobe Jean. She continues to “Wow” her audiences with her talents.