The Mother of Black Hollywood

A Memoir
Narrated by: Jenifer Lewis
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8,123 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award Winner

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 Midwestern girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire listeners. 

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

©2017 Jenifer Lewis (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Jenifer Lewis, star of the TV show 'Black-ish,' holds nothing back in delivering her audacious, outrageous memoir.... Bursting into song, exploding with over-the-top hilarity, Lewis confides some of her best-kept secrets to fans as if they were her new BFFs. Wonderfully honest, intelligent, and brave, Lewis delivers a tour-de-force performance not to be missed." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Wow! Wow! And Wow!

I LOVED this book. I laughed, cried and said “yes” so many times during this book. I literally could not stop listening to Ms Lewis’ stories. And no one other than Ms Lewis could have read this account.
I say”BRAVO”.

31 people found this helpful

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Brutally honest memoir!

This a brutally honest and revealing memoir. Jenifer Lewis doesn't hold back, keeping her story real. The narration is an emotionally charged performance which held my attention. Jenifer Lewis's story is raw, honest and courageous!

62 people found this helpful

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I love it..

I really enjoyed listening to this book read by the author Ms Jennifer Lewis.. Superb Job!!.. very real and true to who we know as Ms Jennifer Lewis.. no BS it helped me.. I feel I can deal with my Mom a lot better now.. I can stand taller and really let the BS go from the past. I ain't gone let no OLD BS keep F'in with me in these streets... LoL..

15 people found this helpful

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Read It!!!

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)

10 people found this helpful

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Love this...

I love listening to this Diva”s story. I was captivated by this book and could not stop listening to Jenifer”s voice as she poignantly described her life with such raw honesty and humor. I laughed out loud and even cried. Thanks for sharing your life experiences with us!
Bravo Jenifer!!!!!!

30 people found this helpful

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Perfection...But What Did You Expect???

At first opportunity, I bought the book first and read it cover to cover. Then I listened to the audio delivered in the sultry, charismatic, and demanding voice of Jenifer Lewis herself. MMM-MMM-MMM...it felt just the way I thought it would. A large Double Papasan Rattan Chair awaits her body as it lines up behind her. She gingerly wraps her loving arms around us as she lowers us down in the middle of her seat. She wraps her legs around our thighs, and we cradle our heads in the pit of her bosom...as she reads her life to us.

That's exactly how it feels, listening to Our Village Auntie read her story to us. I felt privileged given the opportunity to share in her life lessons. This book, this e-book, this Audiobook is incredible.

9 people found this helpful

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I love her even more

This is the first book that I have listened to. I always felt it would be a cheat to listen to books. However, hearing Ms. Lewis tell her story in her words, in her voice, in her truth was wonderful. Great book.

25 people found this helpful

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I could barely finish it.

OMG. I did NOT like this at ALL. The reviews were so positive for this that I immediately purchased it. Though I am a fan of Ms. Lewis, here is why I really, really, really didn't enjoy this book:

1. It was unnecessarily name-droppy and self important. I imagined hearing of celebrities but just the way she shares it is completely annoying.

2. It isn't as much a memoir as it is a performance. She's dramatic in places that don't call for it. I was looking forward to a down to earth insight into her journey. Instead it was a hyperdramatic monologue about who she had sex with and how she is amazing. It was odd, man.

3. It isn't fluid or really chronological. Her history of mental illness comes through--it reads so manic. There are these unnecessary detours that don't fit the story line. She's all over the place. Gregory Hines suckling her breast backstage to having sex with an Italian man in an elevator. Then it just sort of goes to something else. None of it makes sense. And the melodramatic read of it all grated on me. I kept having to shut it off.

4. I listen to audible a lot. I am a 47 year old college-educated black woman who celebrates black women and the arts often. It does make me happy that her book has been a success and that I could support another sister. Again, I'm a fan of Lewis and her work and love a good memoir. But this one absolutely disappointed me and, in my opinion, was terrible. I cannot believe the reviews are so good. I hated it.

I am still a fan of Ms. Lewis, the performer. Just not of her book. At all. Hated it.

11 people found this helpful

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Wow!!!

I was surprised by how forthcoming Jenifer is about her life. But her story was therapeutic for the reader. The story resonated with me on so many levels.

5 people found this helpful

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This is Everything

Okay... I got to get the hard copy of Jenifer Lewis, Mother of Black Hollywood! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ She made me laugh, feel scared, feel proud, love, get mad and then cry... OMG! #This #Everything #JeniferLewis #MotherofBlackHollywood 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

10 people found this helpful