Javicia Leslie was born in Augsburg, Germany. She moved to Maryland at a young age and was raised in Upper Marlboro near Washington, DC. She started performing at the tender age of four, doing plays and commercials. While in college, Leslie ventured into pageantry, winning the title of Miss Hampton University her junior year.
Ms. Leslie is a child of the theater, having performed in many plays since childhood. These include August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, and Bob Fosse’s Chicago, performed at the local theater.
Throughout her life, Ms. Leslie took much interest in dance. She studied tap, jazz, and ballet for many years, going on to compete in many competitions.