The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir (Hardcover)
From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today.
This "Mega Diva" and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant--and at times side-splittingly hilarious--memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.
With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented "force of nature" landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title "Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret."
In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie's Back became a cult favorite, and as the "Mama" to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the "Mother of Black Hollywood."
When an undiagnosed menatl illness stymies Jenifer's career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction.
Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: "Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes."
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Congrats to Jesmyn Ward, 2017 National Book Award Winner
...I was pulling into my driveway after spending a Christmas alone, in South Africa. I'd run off to get away from the pain of a broken engagement, or so I told myself. While there, I toured Robben Island and stood looking at the cell where Nelson Mandela had been locked up for twenty-seven years. Twenty-seven goddamn years, stuck in a cell. It was deeply moving. It wasn't until my car rolled into the garage of my home that I really took in the fact that while Mandela may have been in a cell for twenty-seven years, he had never been imprisoned. I however, had no jail cell, but had been emotionally caged all my life-constricted by my own secrets.
I turned off the ignition, looked around and thought, I owe...