The Mother of Black Hollywood
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 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."From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven 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. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

The Mother of Black Hollywood Details

TitleThe Mother of Black Hollywood
Author
ReleaseNov 14th, 2017
PublisherAmistad
ISBN-139780062410405
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

The Mother of Black Hollywood Review

  • Deetimes
    January 1, 1970
    "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 *****
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  • Orsayor
    January 1, 1970
    This book defines what a Memoir should be. No candy coated life stories here!I laughedI criedI sighedThen I laughed some moreThen I cried againBut most of all... I feel rejuvenated. (In these streets) @jeniferlewisforreal#themotherofblackhollywood #jeniferlewis #Legend#Icon
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  • stacia
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir I Picked Up This Book Because: I like Jennifer Lewis and I needed something to listen to on my road trip. The Story: 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 The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir I Picked Up This Book Because: I like Jennifer Lewis and I needed something to listen to on my road trip. The Story: 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. The Random Thoughts: The Score Card: 4 Stars
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  • Lisa Stein
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Alana
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Tamara Evans
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Joe
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful, fun, funny memoir from a person who's as experienced as she is honest. Lewis (sorry: Dr. Lewis) has no end of great behind-the-scenes stories from her decades in show biz, but what really knocked me out was her detailing her struggles with mental illness (sounds cliché but wasn't at all) and then transforming that saga into giving permission for readers to seek help if they need it. In that sense, it felt like her mother of black Hollywood label is too limiting- she's a mother to us Delightful, fun, funny memoir from a person who's as experienced as she is honest. Lewis (sorry: Dr. Lewis) has no end of great behind-the-scenes stories from her decades in show biz, but what really knocked me out was her detailing her struggles with mental illness (sounds cliché but wasn't at all) and then transforming that saga into giving permission for readers to seek help if they need it. In that sense, it felt like her mother of black Hollywood label is too limiting- she's a mother to us all, caring and crazy and hilarious. She has empathy to spare and is a born entertainer, albeit one who now knows when to rein it in. Really enjoyed this book and highly, highly recommend the audiobook version: laughed out loud many a time at her bravura vocal interpretation.
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  • Tiffany Santillan
    January 1, 1970
    I love Jenifer Lewis!! And if you love her too, you will adore this memoir. I suggest listening to the audio version, as she is the narrator. She is dramatic, over the top, and hilarious. Her writing is revealing and genuine but her oration underscores those characteristics even more. She even does some singing too! I think the only thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the amount of name dropping she does. It’s relevant to her story, and I guess she couldn’t be “the mother of black Hollywood” if she I love Jenifer Lewis!! And if you love her too, you will adore this memoir. I suggest listening to the audio version, as she is the narrator. She is dramatic, over the top, and hilarious. Her writing is revealing and genuine but her oration underscores those characteristics even more. She even does some singing too! I think the only thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the amount of name dropping she does. It’s relevant to her story, and I guess she couldn’t be “the mother of black Hollywood” if she hadn’t worked with so many people. Other than that, no issues whatsoever.
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  • Jo Forrester
    January 1, 1970
    She's a force to be reckoned with. I've learned that the memoirs of any comedian is often filled with as much tears as laughter. Jenifer Lewis is a diva, through and through. And she knows it. She bravely and brazenly shares her life story. She confesses to her manic episodes, her sex addiction and her personal trauma. I enjoyed her before and admire her now.
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  • Monique
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully Written TruthI've always loved Jenifer Lewis. I was shocked to read her story. To realize that she dealt with a difficult childhood, numerous romantic relationships, survived college and still conquered Hollywood give me hope for the future. Ms. Lewis's honesty and clear "I don't give a damn" attitude is refreshing. Read and learn about an amazing Black Woman.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    She is majestic! This memoir is raw, hysterical, and moving. It was an interesting peek into Black Broadway and Hollywood in the late 70s and 80s. Has anyone written a book about that yet? I need more. Anyhoo, if you read this (and you should,) listen to the audio version. She reads it herself, and it is a gift!
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  • Milly
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful read! Highly recommend if you need a good laugh, cry or reflection. Ms. Lewis kept it real. Her personality bursts through every page and captivates you. Gobbled it up in 3 days it was that good!
  • Heather Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to Ms Jenifer Lewis read her story. It was a true delight. Being able to hear her sing was a joy to listen to. Hearing about her sexual escapades and how she dealt with being bipolar showed her transparency and her courage. I loved every minute of the book.
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  • Sharon Fason
    January 1, 1970
    This memoir is about the life and crazy times of Jenifer (spelled with one n) Lewis. She is raw, unfiltered, and honest about her transgressions. I loved this book from the beginning to the end - it's very entertaining.
  • J Harness
    January 1, 1970
    Perfect for all agesI love this book and will read it again. I love her personality and how she discusses how she dealt/dealing with mental illness.
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Perrfection. Mama did good! I loved every moment. I laughed out loud many times and teared up a few times too. Jenifer is a jewel! Well deserved 5🌟
  • Amma
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so appreciative of her honesty and humor and pain. Jenifer Lewis is a true story teller.
  • Say_9
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing! I strongly recommend listening to the audiobook. Loved it!
  • Bradgirl5
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent memoir! Ms. Jenifer Lewis is awesome!
  • Nandi Crawford
    January 1, 1970
    The absolute blankety blank best!!! Memoir ive read this yearWow! What a book! I can only imagine what Ms Lewis went through internally to do this, but I thank you.
  • Tawanna
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed reading about her life.
  • Patriciavalenciame.com
    January 1, 1970
    This Book Is Amazing! If You Can Listen To The AudioBook Go For It! Very Entertaining!!
  • Tamara McKinney
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book. She was honest and open and funny! There is only one thing she got wrong “Our Deepest Fear” quote is not from Nelson Mandela, it’s from Marianne Williamson’s book “A Return to Love”. It is one of my favorites and has been dear to me for years so it makes me sad that a simple google search could have corrected this error. I’m definitely a bigger fan of Jennifer Lewis after reading her story! ❤ I enjoyed this book. She was honest and open and funny! There is only one thing she got wrong “Our Deepest Fear” quote is not from Nelson Mandela, it’s from Marianne Williamson’s book “A Return to Love”. It is one of my favorites and has been dear to me for years so it makes me sad that a simple google search could have corrected this error. I’m definitely a bigger fan of Jennifer Lewis after reading her story! ❤️
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