The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir

The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way.Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers.Told in the audacious voice her fans ador...

Title:The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir
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The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir Reviews

  • Deetimes

    "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir" was a very thought-provoking memoir that was funny, inspiring while managing to capture Lewis's true self without being to commercial in Black Hollywood. You will find yourself giggling oftentimes about her life story but crying too with all she has endured to stay true to herself in the face of her addictions and staying noticeable in Black Hollywood. This was Jenifer Lewis' story... not a gossip rag to divide a people or shock the readers but to celebr

    "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir" was a very thought-provoking memoir that was funny, inspiring while managing to capture Lewis's true self without being to commercial in Black Hollywood. You will find yourself giggling oftentimes about her life story but crying too with all she has endured to stay true to herself in the face of her addictions and staying noticeable in Black Hollywood. This was Jenifer Lewis' story... not a gossip rag to divide a people or shock the readers but to celebrate her reality, her journey and still being relevant in the 21st century!

    Highly recommended!

    5 Blackmagic stars *****

  • Alana

    Jenifer Lewis has lived a life worth writing about. In this book, she's breathtakingly open and honest about who she is and what she's done while also dropping tiny gems in the funny and sometimes sad stories.

  • Lisa Stein

    Heard an interview with Jenifer Lewis on NPR last week, and decided to read this book.

    It was very well written. A couple of times I wasn't sure of the timeline, but that didn't distract from the magnificent story telling.

    Warning: language and subject matter can be shocking.

    Solid 4 1/2 stars. I feel like I save five stars for OMG you must read this now. This is a "wow, you should read this, very interesting..." novel.

    If you're a fan of Broadway, acting, celebrity histories, this is definitely fo

    Heard an interview with Jenifer Lewis on NPR last week, and decided to read this book.

    It was very well written. A couple of times I wasn't sure of the timeline, but that didn't distract from the magnificent story telling.

    Warning: language and subject matter can be shocking.

    Solid 4 1/2 stars. I feel like I save five stars for OMG you must read this now. This is a "wow, you should read this, very interesting..." novel.

    If you're a fan of Broadway, acting, celebrity histories, this is definitely for you.

  • Orsayor

    This book defines what a Memoir should be. No candy coated life stories here!

    I laughed

    I cried

    I sighed

    Then I laughed some more

    Then I cried again

    But most of all... I feel rejuvenated. (In these streets) @jeniferlewisforreal

    #themotherofblackhollywood

    #jeniferlewis

    #Legend

    #Icon

  • stacia

    I love Jenifer Lewis. Always have. So when I found out she'd be releasing a memoir, I immediately added it to my TBR list. This book is, in many ways, exactly what you'd imagine, if you follow Lewis's career. The voice is very authentic; you can tell she penned it all herself. No "as told to"s here. The language is colorful and there are enough accounts of sexual escapades to leave you blushing. (As someone who grew up with a crush on Gregory Hines, I was especially flustered when he appeared he

    I love Jenifer Lewis. Always have. So when I found out she'd be releasing a memoir, I immediately added it to my TBR list. This book is, in many ways, exactly what you'd imagine, if you follow Lewis's career. The voice is very authentic; you can tell she penned it all herself. No "as told to"s here. The language is colorful and there are enough accounts of sexual escapades to leave you blushing. (As someone who grew up with a crush on Gregory Hines, I was especially flustered when he appeared here.)

    There were surprises, too. I thought I knew a bit about Lewis's acting career, but she's done soooo much more than I knew. I appreciated her candor about growing up in poverty, with an unaffectionate and strict mother, as well as her painstaking accounts of her struggles with bipolar disorder. I loved reading about all the close friendships she's cultivated, even as her mental health challenges have threatened many of them.

    This was an inspiring read, mostly, although -- as Ms. Lewis herself notes more than once -- she talks about herself a *lot.* That's to be expected in a memoir, of course, but the tone and voice and framing of this work threatens to be exhausting in its self-centeredness. Ms. Lewis certainly works hard to convey her commitment to causes and politics but much like the actress onscreen, her personality tends to eclipse whatever commentary she's offering. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can just get to be a lot (maybe this was the case for me because I read the whole thing in a day?).

    All in all, I'd recommend this to any fan.

  • Shannon

    I like Jennifer Lewis and I needed something to listen to on my road trip.

    I had NO idea that Jennifer has been in so many productions. Really I hadn’t given much thought to her at all beyond Aunt Helen and Ruby Johnson. She is so accomplished but she breaks it down to the real deal in this book. Not every win was easy and there were many challenges to overcome. She speaks candidly about her family, her relat

    I like Jennifer Lewis and I needed something to listen to on my road trip.

    I had NO idea that Jennifer has been in so many productions. Really I hadn’t given much thought to her at all beyond Aunt Helen and Ruby Johnson. She is so accomplished but she breaks it down to the real deal in this book. Not every win was easy and there were many challenges to overcome. She speaks candidly about her family, her relationships and her mental illness. I found her story fascinating. Jennifer has confidence, charisma and charm and is a star in every way.

  • Monique

    This book started with so much promise. Jenifer Lewis was funny and honest. I enjoyed her antics but then the book took a turn when she started listing all of the people she knew who had died from AIDS. I was listening to the audio version so it sucked all the air out of my car. I had my brother in the car with me and I was bragging about how funny she was and then she got so depressing.

    I also believe Jenifer Lewis is a bigger star in her own mind than in actuality. Ms. Lewis named all these peo

    This book started with so much promise. Jenifer Lewis was funny and honest. I enjoyed her antics but then the book took a turn when she started listing all of the people she knew who had died from AIDS. I was listening to the audio version so it sucked all the air out of my car. I had my brother in the car with me and I was bragging about how funny she was and then she got so depressing.

    I also believe Jenifer Lewis is a bigger star in her own mind than in actuality. Ms. Lewis named all these people she has worked with and all of these movies she had roles in and why don't I remember her? I don't remember her playing Tupac's mother in Poetic Justice, The Preacher's Wife or What's Love Got to Do With It. She is very talented but I only recently became acquainted with her from being on Blackish. Jenifer Lewis was never on my radar before that. I got so tired of the name dropping. I hate when regular people do it so I hated it even more in this book. My GOD, it was Bette this, Whitney that and Tom said and not to mention all of the other names of people who I did not know because I assume I am not in the theater world.

    The woman had a WHOLE LOT OF SEX I mean a WHOLE lot. It was in major part to her being bi-polar and remaining untreated for so long. I appreciated her candor and the role her mental illness played in her life. Mental health discussions in the black community are still very taboo. I appreciate more and more that many people of color are sharing their stories.

    Overall I say to skip it. Read We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union instead.

  • Tamara Evans

    This memoir shows all sides of Jenifer Lewis from sensual to uncontrollable. She unapologetically tests speaks of her life and the experiences which have made her the woman she is today. I appreciate that she openly discusses her life with bipolar disorder as well as her being will to seek therapy which are both issues that are still not openly discussed within the African American community.

    The best thing about this book is her ability to fully immerse you in the stories she tells whether it’s

    This memoir shows all sides of Jenifer Lewis from sensual to uncontrollable. She unapologetically tests speaks of her life and the experiences which have made her the woman she is today. I appreciate that she openly discusses her life with bipolar disorder as well as her being will to seek therapy which are both issues that are still not openly discussed within the African American community.

    The best thing about this book is her ability to fully immerse you in the stories she tells whether it’s singing in a church choir or one of her many sexual encounters. Jenifer Lewis has lived a rich life and despite her ups and downs, she has successfully made it to a valley of peace and self acceptance. Overall, I enjoyed that she is blunt with speaking on how she has lived her life but she also has a welcoming spirit which is so inviting to the reader that when you finish the book feeling like you’ve talking to a favorite aunt.

  • Michael

    It is no secret that I love Jenifer Lewis, she is talented and iconic. Notable films include The Preacher's Wife,Nora's Hair Salon and other syndicated television shows. Not only is she hilarious but I love how blunt she is about life, that is rare with celebrities. Prior to reading this, my expectations were high but this one was a decent book. I knew that she had a bipolar disorder but finding out why was interesting, a new perspective on those that have the same condition. Besides a few laugh

    It is no secret that I love Jenifer Lewis, she is talented and iconic. Notable films include The Preacher's Wife,Nora's Hair Salon and other syndicated television shows. Not only is she hilarious but I love how blunt she is about life, that is rare with celebrities. Prior to reading this, my expectations were high but this one was a decent book. I knew that she had a bipolar disorder but finding out why was interesting, a new perspective on those that have the same condition. Besides a few laughs here and there, it was not one of the best memoirs.

    Maybe cause I was expecting it be better written, not that the writing style was bad but it was not engrossing as other memoirs I read. However I did liked the chapter about her discovering the talent to sing, but nothing really stood out as being magnificent.

    It was a decent memoir but I will stick to seeing her on screen, then reading her books.

  • Latiffany

    I love Jenifer Lewis and I loved this book. I have been a fan of Lewis' work for as long as I can remember. I preordered this title the night that I found out about it and the book does not disappoint. I laughed hard through the first few pages. As the story continued and Lewis began to catalog her numerous sexual conquests, I started to realize that this story was more than a memoir about a very funny performer with an extensive sex life.

    I didn't know that Lewis suffered from bipolar depressio

    I love Jenifer Lewis and I loved this book. I have been a fan of Lewis' work for as long as I can remember. I preordered this title the night that I found out about it and the book does not disappoint. I laughed hard through the first few pages. As the story continued and Lewis began to catalog her numerous sexual conquests, I started to realize that this story was more than a memoir about a very funny performer with an extensive sex life.

    I didn't know that Lewis suffered from bipolar depression. I missed Ms. Lewis' conversation with Oprah about how she battled manic episodes, depression and, self-soothed through sexual activity. I was very surprised, but I appreciated her honesty and vulnerability. Lewis states that if this book helps at least one person then it was worth sharing her life story. I believe that this book has the potential to impact readers greatly.

    Lewis journey towards healing was long and there were challenges, but similar to the characters that she has played, she utilized strength, therapy, and humor to get through. I am so glad that she decided to share this story with her fans. She truly is one of the greatest performers ever.

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