• Mama Black Widow

  • By: Iceberg Slim
  • Narrated by: Bobby Spears
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (398 ratings)

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Mama Black Widow  By  cover art

Mama Black Widow

By: Iceberg Slim
Narrated by: Bobby Spears
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Publisher's summary

Mama Black Widow tells the tragic story of Otis Tilson, a stunning black drag queen trapped in a cruel queer ghetto underworld. In hopes of escaping the racial bigotry andeconomic injustice of the South, Otis' family journeys north from their plantation to an urban promised land. Once in Chicago, Otis and his siblings become prisoners to a wasteland of violence, crime, prostitution, and rape. This is the gut-wrenching tale of the destruction of a family and the truest portrayal of homosexuality in the ghetto ever told.

©2013 the Robert Beck Estate (P)2014 Blackstone Publishing, and Urban Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Mama Black Widow

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Imprinted Images In My Mind Forever..

Mama Black Widow is a haunting and gut-wrenching story of a black transvestite who's been through hell, hell's half acre, back to hell, and back to earth. There is no other way to describe this beautiful narrative; beautiful because of the raw truth to it- but terribly ugly when dealing with all of the hate and confusion in the story.

When we think of transgender people, people like Caitlyn Jenner come to mind- people who make bold choices with their lifestyles and have glitz, glamour, and popularity. Mama Black Widow shatters that glamorous image and shows the world what things were really like for poor, transgender and gay folks in the past few decades.

The journey that one takes with this book's narrative is daunting and incredible. The narration is perfect, the story line made my stomach lurch, my skin crawl, and my eyes water all at the same time. This book is real, gutsy, and completely worth reading or listening to more than once. I appreciate Iceberg Slim and I am honoured to have heard this profound story of struggle and bravery.

-Wendi

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark, gritty and hard... Awesome!

The dark story of a black drag queens personal ( traumatic ) life. Scars the skin and the mind.
Intriguing till the end.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

He's a genius!!

If you have not read his series of books shame on you! You have got to check these books out. The plot is amazing and you won't care if its fiction or a documentary of a lifestyle.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the mother of all mother

If you could sum up Mama Black Widow in three words, what would they be?

selfish;motherless; hopeless

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mama Black Widow?

The way the mother destroyed the life of her daughter when finding out that she was pregnant

Have you listened to any of Bobby Spears’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes; some parts of the book left you drained emotional due to the suffering of the characters.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Still a classic!

No matter how many times I read this book, it's so great! Being a 70s baby, these are books I've grown up to. I shared these stories with my daughter who is 24, she enjoys them as well! How unfortunate we don't have this type of writers anymore!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not bad but not good

Okay but not the best I have heard. I would not listen again. I think it was more so the readers voice than anything.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Saddest of them all

From the first chapter to the end the sad tale of Otis Tillson and his family. Sadness and despair follow him and his family. Another vivid and real story told by Robert Beck. I highly recommend this book.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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It's almost like you can visualize Otis Tilson telling his story. Iceberg Slim is an Artist.

The book was extremely gritty. This is no picnic walk. the highs and lows of living in this hell will shock you, and make your stomach churn with vomit. However, this book is so damn funny. This is the life of a young black boy in the Ghetto . Nothing more, nothing less. it's beautiful baby.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Catchup2me2

This was an excellent sad read; there's nothing to explain. You have to read it. Then you will understand.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

lyrical masterpiece

A lyrical masterpiece and the reading was spot on and so believable!!! I am saving this title and will revisit it when I need to feel something.

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