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The Mother of Black Hollywood

A Memoir

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About the Book

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.”

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

Her memoir is frank, funny, and uplifting, capturing the singer’s authentic voice, her humor, and her profound and bold capacity for resilience. —Publishers Weekly

“Lewis’ years of journaling and knack for recall make for a rowdy, funny, and emotional exploration of her ascendance as a Hollywood matriarch.”
Booklist

“An insightful memoir of Lewis’s road to success and eventual path to self-healing, told with honesty and hubris that will appeal to her wide fan base.” —Library Journal

“The co-star of the hit sitcom “Black-ish” tells her story with refreshing honesty, tracing her journey from poor Midwestern girl to one of the most versatile entertainers working today, racking up more than 300 appearances for film, television and stage. Funny and candid.” —New York Post

The Mother of Black Hollywood is a heartbreaking, honest reflection on the actress, comedian, singer, and activist’s life told in the raucous, irreverent voice fans have come to love. Taking the readers from her humble beginnings in Kinloch, Missouri, Lewis gives us a front row seat to the trials, tribulations, and successes she has encountered. Known for her countless roles in Hollywood, including most recently in the sit-com Black-ish, this book is one you can’t put down, and it will inspire and make you laugh out loud on many occasions. —NBCBLK, “Fall Reading List”

“Jenifer Lewis is a natural comedienne in the spirit of Lucille Ball. Inventive, smart, and all her bones are ‘funny bones.’ You know the workday will be all fun and spirit when Jenifer is on set—the hardest part is to keep from laughing. And now she has written it all down for everyone to enjoy. Congratulations, Mother Jenifer. I love you!” —Taraji P. Henson

The Mother of Black Hollywood is inspiring, funny, and boldly transparent. It takes a beyond brave person to write such a memoir. Jenifer Lewis is a true vessel and channel for pure expression...the most honest person I have ever met.” —Brandy

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062410405
  • ISBN 10: 0062410407
  • Imprint: Amistad
  • On Sale: 11/14/2017
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: 31.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis

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