Friday, December 8, 2017

#BookReview: THE MOTHER OF BLACK HOLLYWOOD by Jenifer Lewis

Synopsis: Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by "inner soldiers," Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating.

We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love and healing.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, 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.”

Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within 11 days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy.

Review: How will you know you've made it in Black Hollywood? When Jenifer Lewis plays your mama, your auntie and, now, your grandmother. The dynamic diva with a distinctive voice and personality to match has appeared on stage, on TV and in movies as characters as unapologetic as she is in real life. It's a fact that I'll watch any movie, regardless of the rest of the cast, if Jenifer Lewis is in it because she brings it every time. But there was a time when she was afraid that her light could be dimmed.

Ms. Lewis isn't shy about discussing her bipolar diagnosis now, but before her therapist and life were able to convince her she could take meds and still be just as fabulous, the diva was spinning out of control. Between home and the theater, she filled her days and nights with a multitude of sexual partners. Yes, mother has lived, y'all and she's not ashamed of it, but she knows now that sex was her addiction, a way to fill in the gaps, but it was neither the solution or the cure for what ailed her. Her openness and honesty about this part of her life is so refreshing. It's her truth and she's unafraid to tell you about it.

336 p.
Published: November 2017

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