From What’s Love Got to Do With It to Blackish, actress Jenifer Lewis has portrayed the strong-willed matriarch in many African-American movies and TV shows. And with her aptly titled forthcoming memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood, the diva gives a proud nod to her typecasting.
The 60-year-old has an impressive body of work, with more than 300 appearances in TV and film, including don’t mess with me mama roles in Think Like a Man, Dead Presidents, Girlfriends, Baggage Claim and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. She even played Whitney Houston’s feisty madre inThe Preacher’s Wife, even though she wasn’t much older than the pop and R&B diva.
In the Harper Collins memoir, Lewis “looks back on her memorable journey from poverty to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way.”
The publisher’s website describes the book in detail:
“Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Lewis 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,” the Missouri native never stopped entertaining and creating.
We watch as Lewis 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, she 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 will hit shelves on Tuesday, Nov. 14th.