The DC Voice

The Mother of Black Hollywood – Jenifer Lewis

What can I say about “JeniferMothaF**kinLewis”? Anyone that refers to themselves in that manner definitely has some stories to tell and some tea to spill! She has played almost everyone’s mama from Whitney Houston to Angela Bassett. You may not know her name, but I guarantee you recognize her face and her charismatic voice. It’s extremely fitting that she titled her memoir The Mother of Black Hollywood. The main focus of the book is how she got through life with bipolar disorder. More specifically, how it manifested itself through alcoholism and sex addiction. It’s amazing that the same disorder that caused such turmoil in her life was also the fuel that ignited her success.

The book has ADHD in the best possible way. Her life events are not detailed in chronological order. Instead, it’s told with feeling. Her thought process is obvious through each chapter. There are numerous times where she’ll leave a cliffhanger in the middle of one chapter, only to pick it back up two chapters later. However, it still felt cohesive. You don’t miss a thing. Even with the sporadic nature of the book, I remained hooked. She has multiple stories about her relationships with Phyllis Hyman, Gregory Hines, Sheryl Lee Ralph and countless other icons. She was moving and shaking with these legends as a legend in her own right! The same energy she brings to her characters is present in the book throughout every page. Actually, this book makes me love her even more on Black-ish.

Needless to say, I LOVED The Mother of Black Hollywood. I come from a family of women that cursed like sailors and were unapologetic about it. This book made me feel right at home. Jenifer is a true diva, inside and out. There is no facade with her. She’s honest about her past and optimistic about her future. Her confidence makes it impossible to not root for her success. Jenifer has earned every accolade she’s received and she will absolutely make sure you know it. If you’re looking for wholesome, family fun, this book is not for you, honey. On the other hand, if you’re ready for a thrill, hop right into this book and buckle up for the ride!

 

Next Book: Black Privilege – Charlamagne Tha God

 

 

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