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The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir: 03/30/20
The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis is a raw and personal account of a career that spans the 1970s to present. The title comes from an overheard comment where one of her Blackish costars noted that over her career she had played the mother of so many different Black characters.
But this book is more than just a laundry list of every show she's played in — from Broadway to films to television. Instead it's a frank accounting of her struggles with being bipolar — and being undiagnosed for years. It's about how she compensated with sex and drinking and drugs.
Because of the timeframe of her career, it's also a depressing unfolding of AIDS — from the early days when people were dying of rare, unheard of diseases, through the vilification of gays because of how many men were wiped out, and to how AIDS changed the sexual landscape.